Administrators, faculty and staff celebrated this year’s first-year students during the annual New Student Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 1.
President F. Javier Cevallos welcomed students to FSU and told them they will face “new and exciting challenges,” during their time at the University.
“Some will be academic, and some will be related to your new level of independence. I promise you that if you work hard, you will have every opportunity to thrive here,” he said.
He reminded students of the resources available on campus, such as CASA and career services.
“We offer a strong support structure at Framingham State,” he said, “but it will be up to you to seek it out and take advantage of it.”
He also advised students to take up internships and get involved with student clubs and athletics on campus, and encouraged them to ask for help from faculty, staff and administrators.
He said if students couldn’t find someone with an answer to their questions, they could personally email him for help.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek out assistance,” he said. “If you don’t know who to ask, ask me.”
Also during the ceremony, four professors received distinguished faculty awards – Bridgette Sheridan for teaching, Virginia Rutter for scholarships, Cynthia Betchel for service and Rebecca Taylor for advising and mentoring.
Professor Sarah Mulhall was awarded the Dr. Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award.
Muhall urged students to think of their time at FSU as an opportunity.
“This is your shot,” she said. “So now that you’re here, what are you going to do with it? What do you want to get out of college?”
SGA President Ezequiel DeLeon cited FSU’s original mission to set the standard and norms for teaching practices, and said, “Today, that mission for setting the standard or norm is as true as it was in 1839, but that mission has evolved to encompass more than just best teaching practices.”
He asked students to “internalize” and “fulfill” that mission by “truly committing yourself to your studies and to your community. Raise the standards by doing something different.”
He told students that while they were now fully responsible for themselves, that did not mean they were alone.
“It is my hope that as you progress here at Framingham State University, you can count on the Student Government Association as one of your allies,” he said. “So please do not hesitate to reach out.”
Freshman Kevin Follis said the ceremony was “informational” and that it “makes you feel a little less nervous about looking for help.”
Lauren Paolini, a freshman, said, “There are a lot of opportunities, and they’re willing to help.”
Briana Saint Pierre, a freshman, said, “I loved the speech by our president. He’s just so loving and warm, and it makes me want to hug him.”
Freshman Sam Ross said, “Everyone just seems really approachable. … I feel like I could talk to anybody here … and be treated with same respect I give them.”
Robert Johnson, a freshman, said the ceremony was “informative” and “inspiring.”
He added, “It feels really surreal to be here, and it feels really nice to actually be welcomed by a warm community.”
Cevallos said, “There is nothing I’d like more than to be handing everyone in this room a diploma four years from now.”