New Student Convocation Welcomes Largest Class of Undergraduates in UCR’s History

Hundreds of students showed up for the 8 a.m. ceremony at Pierce Lawn on Tuesday, Sept. 20

The new student convocation took place on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox welcomed “the biggest class in the history of the University of California, Riverside.” carlos puma

UC Riverside’s new student convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 20, marked an historical moment.

“This is the biggest class in the history of the University of California, Riverside,” Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox told the crowd during the 8 a.m. ceremony.

UCR started classes on Thursday, Sept. 22 with over 6,000 new Highlanders; the number includes transfer students. That’s up from the 5,305 new undergraduates (including transfers) who arrived in Fall 2015.

Buildings are not what make a university, it’s people who make the institution, the chancellor said.

“So, you now are not at the University of California, Riverside, you are the University of California, Riverside,” Wilcox said.  “And, a great university is great people. So, the better you are at being a student, the better the university is.”

Hundreds of students showed up for the ceremony at Pierce Lawn, where the UCR Highlander Band welcomed them and student Leslye Martinez led them in the national anthem.

Among the new students were Ishita Korde of Riverside, Kimberly Tran of Perris, and Lucian Boothe of El Centro. All said they were excited to be starting their studies at UCR. Korde plans to major in neuroscience. Tran, the first in her family to attend a UC, will major in biochemistry; and Boothe is majoring in computer engineering.

“I’m really, really excited to be here,” Boothe said. “I came here and it just felt like family.”

Other speakers also addressed “the biggest class” at UCR. They included Alumni Association President Kenneth Noller, Academic Senate Chair Dylan Rodríguez, and Associated Students of UCR President Shafi Karim.

“Some of life’s greatest lessons are taught outside of the classroom” and “embrace challenges” were messages Noller highlighted during his welcome speech.

Rodríguez, who is also an ethnic studies professor, told students that faculty at UCR are working hard to comprehend – and find solutions – to issues that plague oppressed countries around the world. Some of those countries might have a direct connection to students on campus, students who might be the first in their families to attend college or a UC school, he said.

“I will tell you now, that if this is the case, you must allow who you are to be part of why you are here,” Rodríguez said.

He also reminded students that he and the rest of the faculty are here to “help you understand that getting the most of your time here has less to do with confirming than it does with challenging… but are pushing you to translate new ideas about the world and its histories into the everyday genius of speaking truth to power.”

new-student-convocation-2016

UCR welcomes the Class of 2020 with a convocation ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma
  • New Student Convocation 2016

    On Sept. 20, UCR's New Student Convocation welcomed the largest class of freshmen and transfer students in the university's history. Photo by Carlos Puma

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