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Students March to the Student Center at Academic Convocation
August 29, 2023



On a warm summer day, nearly 600 Curry students officially kicked off their college journeys at the 2023 New Student Academic Convocation. Supported by a sea of excitement and applause from faculty and staff, new students marched from the Academic Quad over to Westhaver Park in a formal procession before entering Katz Gymnasium for the ceremony.

Photos: 2023 New Student Academic Convocation

Watch: 2023 New Student Academic Convocation (Full Ceremony)

During his first official Convocation address, President Jay Gonzalez eagerly welcomed the new class, encouraging students for their next chapter of personal growth and exploration. Above all else, his hope for students is that they will “Be Curry,” by being intentional and proactive about their college experience, and by living up to the values and attributes of the Curry community that make it special. “Know that we are here for you. We believe in you. And we are rooting for you,” he concluded. “This is your time. This is your opportunity. Make the best of it. Be Curry.”

Watch: President Jay Gonzalez delivers Convocation welcome address

While boasting strength in numbers representing 23 states and various global communities as far as Southeast Asia, the Curry College Class of 2027 was reminded throughout the ceremony of the power of community and togetherness. Director of Spiritual Life Rev. Dr. Ian Mevorach began the event with a centering practice, advising new students to “Take a moment to feel and know that we’re connected, and that we are a powerful community together.”

What Provost Dr. Robert Shea described as “competing emotions,” the excited yet nervous class heeded to sophomore student speaker Jemima Celestin’s advice about self-care, trusting the process, and putting in the work. “Remember that you are good enough and can thrive here. You WILL thrive here. By being here, you’ve already begun your journey. Your steps onto this campus today are also the first layers of the concrete of the foundation of your lives.” 

Watch: Jemima Celestin ’26 delivers student Convocation address

Dr. Katherine-Marie Conover, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, then delivered the faculty address and brought the room back to full center with a deep breathing exercise. She advised the room to stay curious and to be open to new ideas, expressing that, “Curiosity is key to lifelong learning. Curiosity is how you’re able to listen and care for persons different than you.”

Watch: Dr. Katherine-Marie Conover delivers faculty Convocation address

Keynote speaker Courtney Lee ’17, Social Media Lead at NASA, left the class with an inspiring message of taking chances and trying new things, attributing to her experience at Curry and postgraduate success. Jumping at an opportunity that seemed like a longshot, Courtney took a chance and opened a door that she didn’t know existed, and now leads the influencer engagement program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center helping manage media campaigns for the agency that connects scientists, engineers, and astronauts to media outlets all over the globe. “I tell you this story because I hope it can inspire you all not to be afraid to try to new things,” she concluded. “You may succeed, you may fail, but you will never know unless you try. Like they say, shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you will end up among the stars.”

Watch: Courtney Lee ’17 delivers Convocation keynote

Dr. Shea concluded the ceremony with the official matriculation of the Class of 2027, marking the official start of their academic careers in a “community where everybody matters.”