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Class of 2026 Encouraged to Try New Things, Connect with One Another at New Student Academic Convocation

Class of 2026 Marches Through Westhaver Park during Convocation
August 31, 2022


Academics | Student Success

"Learning is infinite. There are no boundaries to learning. Challenge your minds, take a chance, and do something different."

This was the message to the incoming class of 2026 by keynote speaker and alumnus Bob Arnesen ’93 during the 2022 New Student Academic Convocation. During the College’s annual traditional kick-off of the fall semester, over 500 new students marched from the Academic Quad to Westhaver Park, flanked and greeted by lines of clapping end excited faculty and staff on a bright summer day.

View the 2022 New Student Academic Convocation Photo Gallery

Watch: 2022 New Student Academic Convocation (Full Ceremony)

 "This is a new start for everybody as you embark on this journey. See what you learn about yourself when you do something different,” said Arnesen in a room packed with students, faculty, and staff. "The one commitment that I made to myself coming into college was to go outside of my comfort zone and to try new things. I took a chance and opened myself to how the Curry College experience could really help me. And it did."

After graduating from Curry in 1993 with a business degree, Arnesen co-founded his own clinical resource company. As the President and Co-Founder of eClinical Solutions, Arnesen helps pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies get the answers they need for their clinical programs to get new drugs, applications, molecules, and devices onto the market. The relationships he built at Curry, along with the support from his faculty, advisors, and the PAL program still serve him daily as a leader and an entrepreneur.

Watch: Bob Arnesen ’93 delivers the Convocation keynote

After a warm welcome from Curry College President Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr. and the singing of the National Anthem by Victoria Tirado ’25, Yvonne Welsh ’24 and Dr. Jennifer Balboni delivered the student and faculty addresses.

Welsh encouraged the incoming class to try new things, to be proactive, and to get involved. "Make it a mission to branch out of your comfort zone. By getting involved now, you’ll be building your networking foundation for life." And while starting college can be an emotional and challenging time, Welsh assured the class of 2026 that the “butterflies” will slow down, and soon, everything will just "click." "You might not realize it now, but you have it under control. Curry chose you for a reason, and I’m overjoyed to have you all here as classmates."

Watch: Yvonne Welsh ’24 delivers student Convocation address

Balboni, a professor of sociology and criminal justice, left the class of 2026 with a strong message of the importance of togetherness. She introduced the definition of ubuntu, an African philosophy that values the significance of authentic humanity, with the idea that human beings are all part of a larger, communal world. "Ubuntu points out that it isn’t just about you. We are all interconnected and now, as of today, we are uniquely interconnected because we are part of the same community."

"So in the spirit of ubuntu, as you start your college journey today, I’m going to first ask that you listen to one another," said Dr. Balboni. "Let’s support one another, let’s challenge one another, and let’s do good so that it spreads out for the whole of humanity."

Watch: Dr. Jennifer Balboni delivers faculty Convocation address

Arnesen then delivered the keynote address, followed by the official matriculation of the class of 2026 by Interim Provost, Dr. Robert Shea. The newest Curry class concluded the ceremony by standing together to recite the Class Oath, vowing to respect all members of the community, to gain knowledge in pursuit of wisdom, and to seize the opportunities ahead.