On Tuesday, September 9, a mix of students, faculty and other community members gathered on the South Lawn for an afternoon of speeches, performances and other program additions all dedicated to celebrating new beginnings. At around 1:30 p.m., President Karen Lawrence welcomed the crowd, and Sarah Lawrence College Convocation 2014 commenced.
You’re all probably thinking: Didn’t this all already happen? No, not even last year, last week? Well, you’re right; but, just in case we forgot about Opening Day ceremony, the 2014 Convocation of the College served its purpose in truly inaugurating the 2014-2015 academic year.
In execution, this newly restored tradition introduced us to a variety of excellent speakers and insightful phrasings. In his speech to the crowd, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and faculty member Vijay Seshadri, noted how, “We use time to accommodate learning rather than the other way around.” Removed from its fragmented context, the speech very much explored the pedagogy of a Sarah Lawrence education, and, in conjunction with a reading of the first quarter T.S. Eliot’s Burnt Norton, extended some great advice to not only first-years, but all community members struggling with time.
After a beautiful performance by faculty member and violinist Sungrai Sohn, Maureen Gallagher, Assistant Vice President of Facilities, and student William Horn read the Principles of Mutual Respect and faculty member Ilja Wachs hit the podium with a gavel. So, as of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the academic year officially started. Welcome back everyone, for real this time!
by Derick Edgren '18