Welcome Convocation Kicks Off Opening Week Events

by News Bureau on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013

Convocation 2013

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 23, 2013 – As Rowdy the Redhawk gave high-fives, performed antics and initiated applause, first-time and transfer students crossed the pedestrian bridge and entered the Show Me Center this morning for Southeast Missouri State University’s Welcome Convocation, kicking off the 2013-2014 academic year.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome the class of 2017,” said Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins. “You are about to embark on a major life transition.”

 Dobbins told the students, whose Southeast T-shirts created a sea of red, to get involved in extra-curricular activities on campus, take advantage of helpful services and attend class.

“In the next four to five years, you will change and grow and set the foundation for your future,” he said.

The students saw a video presentation in which several recent Southeast alumni talked about their experiences on campus and how the University had enriched their lives.

Student Government President Benny Dorris told the new students that they are here to learn, to grow and to make a difference.

“Grow together and learn from one another,” he said.

Ross McFerron, a Southeast alumnus, former Student Government president and now attorney at the Cape Girardeau law firm of Osburn, Hine, Yates and Murphy, also addressed the group.

He said students can choose one of two very different paths: they can get a degree or get an education.

Those who get a degree will get a piece of paper that says they completed 120 credit hours, McFerron said.

Those who choose to get an education will learn to work hard in the classroom and make academics their priority, take challenging courses and study more than they expected. They also will get involved in student organizations and build relationships across the campus.

“Make this place your home,” he encouraged students.

Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success and Dean of Students, welcomed the new students inviting them to attend any of 15 events scheduled on campus Saturday, Aug. 24, including a Zumba class, Capture the Flag game on the Kent Library lawn and part-time jobs success fair. She also encouraged students to attend the Welcome Back Picnic, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Chartwells Dining and Catering Services and New Student Programs, scheduled for 4-6 p.m. Aug. 25 in the Show Me Center.

Fall semester classes begin Aug. 26.