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New students, faculty dedicated at convocation

The fall convocation this year featured a new ceremony: the dedication of all first years and transfers to Eastern’s mission.

At the end of the September 2 ceremonies, the INST director, Julie Elliott, filling in for Vice President of Student Development Bettie Ann Brigham, asked each of the first years to stand and gave a dedicatory speech on their behalf.

“Convocation means being called together. We have all been called to Eastern together,” she said. “We invite you to join us in faith, reason and justice.”

Afterward, all the returning students present were asked to stand next to a new student and hold hands in groups while University chaplain Joe Modica closed in prayer.

Also included in the convocation ceremonies was the signing of Eastern’s statement of belief by all new faculty. These faculty then gathered at the front of the auditorium to be welcomed to Eastern.

The keynote speaker at convocation was Dean of arts and sciences, David Greenhalgh.

His speech, entitled “Honorable Honors,” discussed how to develop the honorable character that should underlie all academic achievements.

“It’s my goal today to speak to the process of becoming honorable and encourage us all to enthusiastically embrace it as essential to our academic endeavor together,” Greenhalgh said.

He admonished students to use their time at Eastern to learn to live honorable lives.

“Let the beautiful surroundings, excellent faculty and staff and carefully crafted programs cultivate and strengthen your inner life,” he said.

He told students to use the five tools of imago dei, Scripture, the four cardinal virtues, the three theological virtues and practice to develop honorable character.

He also advised students to be encouraged by those who exhibit excellent character and called them to rededicate themselves to developing honorable character.

“Today let’s renew and strengthen our resolve to cultivate honorable lives in our community,” he said.

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