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Welcome, Incoming Students

Convocation Introduces Freshmen, Transfers to University Traditions

The Class of 2020 and incoming transfers form a giant A after the 2016 Opening Convocation ceremony. (Photo by Carlo de Jesus) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 21, 2017) — Some 2,725 incoming freshman and 1,350 transfer students will be welcomed Friday, Aug. 25, at Opening Convocation.

The ceremony celebrates UAlbany’s academic mission, introduces new students to University traditions and welcomes them as part of the campus community.


Opening Convocation is a celebration of community and campus tradition. Above, transfers and freshman take their seats at last year's ceremony. (Photo by Carlo de Jesus) 

Incoming President Havidán Rodríguez, who begins his tenure as UAlbany’s 20th president on Sept. 14, will be on campus to take part in the ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. in the SEFCU Arena. Students’ family members, as well as University faculty and staff, will be in attendance.

The ceremony begins with a formal processional of robed faculty and University leaders led by Professor John Pipkin of the Department of Geography and Planning.

Pipkin will offer introductory remarks, followed by the national anthem, sung by UAlbany’s a capella group the Earth Tones. Interim Provost Darrell Wheeler will offer the provost’s welcome, followed by some brief remarks from Interim President James Stellar. Incoming President Rodríguez will then offer the president’s address.

The faculty address will be delivered by Sheri Stevens, director of the Community Public Service Program at the School of Social Welfare. Stevens was the 2017 winner of the University’s torch award, which honors faculty who have been transformational in the lives of students.

Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies Jeanette Altarriba will then address the gathering, and the Earth Tones will sing the Univerity’s Alma Mater. Vice President of Student Affairs Michael Christakis will close the ceremony with his welcome address to students.

After the recessional, students will go out to Bob Ford Field to position themselves in the shape of an A for photos, then gather with family, friends and their new University community for the Presidential Picnic, from 5-7 p.m., on the Podium in front of the Campus Center.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.