For Sophomores, the Year Starts with Convocation Ceremony

Sophomores are Reminded of Extracurricular Opportunities


Published: October 2, 2008

Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) held the sophomore convocation for the 2008-2009 school year on Sept. 18 in Pope Auditorium. The program lasted about 45 minutes. Arleen Pancza Graham, assistant dean for freshmen and sophomores, said that the event was held to bring the sophomore class together in one place in a way that they hadn’t been since freshman orientation more than a year ago.

“I pray that the world you see has grown bigger, not smaller, and that the questions you raise are all the more intriguing,” Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., said at the beginning of the convocation. He continued, “I encourage you to keep at it, to throw yourself into the project, not to get lost in this big city but to relish the opportunities you find.”

Grimes spoke about the accomplishments of the class over the past year. “A lot has transpired in that year that’s gone by, and you might not even be aware of the changes in your life. You have all read and discussed the ideas of Socrates and Plato, ideas old but still applicable to your lives today,” he said. A recurring theme of the day seemed to be that, although sophomores certainly know their way around FCLC by now, they still have many opportunities to explore.

Convocation opened with an invocation by Rev. Terrance W. Klein, S.T.D., who is an assistant professor in the theology department. He spoke about “summoning up fresh reserves of strength” for the upcoming year. This was followed by a series of short presentations reminding students about programs and services at FCLC.

The Community Service Program made a presentation about its volunteer opportunities. Sandra Lobo Jost, director of the Community Service Program, said, “We see ourselves as a liaison between the Fordham community and the local community. We can connect you with a variety of opportunities.” Some faculty have created service-integrated classes which students can take for credit, like Work and Family, a sociology course taught by Chris Morett, a professor at Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH). A number of other offices and programs represented themselves, including the writing center, the service learning program, Global Outreach, and study abroad.

The Office of Student Affairs presented recognition awards to two students “who have made a unique mark  and continue to make a unique mark on the community at Fordham,” said Keith Eldredge, FCLC dean of students. Eldredge and Jenifer Campbell, director of Residential Life, honored Mathew Rodriguez and Patrice Kugler for their contributions to the Fordham community. Rodriguez was commended for his work with the Rainbow Alliance and United Student Government. He was also applauded for his work as a Freshman Mentor for the fourth floor of McMahon Hall. Kugler was recognized for her involvement with the Classics Society, for her work planning last year’s Winter Ball and for her efforts to make Tae Kwon Do available to commuter students.

Approximately 200 sophomores attended the event, out of a class of over 400 students. Radha Desai, FCLC ’11, who was in attendance, said, “I don’t think it was advertised well enough. We got e-mails, but some people were turned off because they thought it was freshman orientation all over again.”

Those who did attend reported that they did so for a variety of reasons. “I wanted to hear about study abroad; it was great to hear firsthand student experiences,” said Jenna Matecki, FCLC ’11. Matecki said she also came to see the Ailey dancers perform.

The Alvin Ailey BFA dance students’ performance was choreographed by Preston Miller, FCLC ’10. Sophomores Collin Heyward, Jacqueline Green, Erika Black and Tiffany Lee danced in the performance, which concluded the convocation ceremony. “We hear a lot about the Ailey dancers, but they are quite often busy down the street at Ailey and we don’t often have a chance to see them,” said Graham.

Convocation concluded with offerings of free t-shirts and refreshments, which multiple sophomores jokingly cited as their reasons for attending.

The sophomore convocation is in its fifth year as a tradition at FCLC.