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Officials welcome Class of 2027 at sparsely attended Convocation

University President Ellen Granberg, deans and a student leader welcomed the Class of 2027 to GW.
Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor
About 800 of the 2,500 first-year and new transfer students attended the annual ceremony.

Officials encouraged the Class of 2027 to seize every opportunity in their academic endeavors at the University’s annual Convocation ceremony at the Smith Center on Saturday.

About 800 of the 2,500 first-year and new transfer students attended the annual ceremony, held roughly a month later than its usual date, according to Amy Cohen, the executive director of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. University President Ellen Granberg, Provost Chris Bracey and senior Dasia Bandy addressed the class, encouraging students to pursue community service and welcoming them to GW.

Convocation coincided with the Welcome Day of Service, where students are bussed to various service sites in the D.C. area to participate in community service projects, some of which were canceled due to Saturday’s rainy weather.

Cohen said the Convocation’s delay was due to holidays like Rosh Hashanah and construction at the Smith Center. Officials replaced the venue’s floor, a transformation shown in a video tweeted by GW Sports.

Cohen said the event’s postponement and poor weather contributed to the low turnout this year, which she said is usually about 1800 to 2000 students. She said Convocation will return to its usual time at the end of Orientation next academic year.

Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor

Bracey delivered introductory remarks and said the postponement of the ceremony gave him more time to get to know the first-years, unlike previous years.

“I’ve had a little extra time to get to know some of you, and I’ve seen firsthand your excitement to be here, your desire to take full advantage of the many benefits of living and learning,” Bracey said.

Granberg, who began her term as University president July 1, said Convocation is the beginning of a “remarkable journey” for students to develop their academic interests.

“You will not only have the opportunity but will be wholeheartedly encouraged to engage with your passions, to develop new interests and to discover things that really matter to you, the things that motivate you and the things that inspire you,” Granberg said. “This is the time in your life to openly explore who you are and the world that you occupy.”

Granberg encouraged students to reach out to staff and faculty who can guide students through their academic and extracurricular pursuits. She said students should learn from their peers’ various perspectives to make change.

Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor

“When you came to GW you joined a community of individuals who all have the same intellect and curiosity and desire to have an impact as you,” Granberg said. “You and your peers have all come to GW to achieve a shared goal — to learn to change the world, and each of you will develop very different perspectives on how to do this. That is what makes us revolutionary.”

Granberg said she wants to hear from students and urged them to share their experiences and opinions about GW at her website, which gives students a space to express any questions and concerns they may have, because students’ voices are a “valuable” part of the University.

“I wanted to hear from you, I want to know what you think are our GW strengths, our challenges and our opportunities,” Granberg said. “I would love to hear what brought you to GW and how your experience has been so far.”

Granberg said the Welcome Day of Service is emblematic of the University’s dedication to service.

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About the Contributors
Cade McAllister, Events Editor
Cade McAllister is a sophomore double majoring in international affairs and political science from San Diego, California.  He is The Hatchet's 2023-2024 events editor.
Fiona Bork, Assistant News Editor
Fiona Bork is a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communication from San Diego, California. She is The Hatchet's 2023-2024 assistant news editor for the Student Life beat.
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