Middle Tennessee State University’s Convocation for new students will usher in the 2022-23 academic year and marks the official start of the fall semester.
Convocation will be held starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, in Murphy Center for freshman members of the Class of 2026 and new transfers, other returning students, family members and alumni. The free event, featuring Summer Reading Program author Andrew Forsthoefel, is open to the public.
Event organizers ask that attendees arrive early, because Convocation is a university Connection Point activity for the new students, who need to use a QR code to enter and more than 4,000 people are expected to attend.
For those attending in person, building location and nearby parking information is available at www.mtsu.edu/parking/documents/parking-map.pdf.
Convocation is an MTSU tradition for the entering new class of students each year, hosted by President Sidney A. McPhee and Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and enrollment services. New students will take the True Blue Pledge, led by 2022-23 Student Government Association President Jada Powell.
“Convocation marks a new beginning and official welcome to our new students,” said Gina Poff, director of MTSU’s Office of New Students and Family Programs.
MTSU administrators, deans and faculty members will wear academic regalia in “honoring our newest members of the MTSU community,” Poff said, adding that the Band of Blue will perform the Olympic Fanfare. Incoming MTSU Faculty Senate President Stephen Salter and Powell also will add their welcomes.
Forsthoefel wrote “Walking to Listen,” a travel memoir about his 4,000-mile walk across the U.S. and the people he met after graduating from Middlebury College in 2011.
“MTSU is delighted and honored to host Andrew Forsthoefel as our Convocation keynote speaker,” said Dr. Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for admissions and enrollment services. She said she believes students will gain wisdom from both the book and Forsthoefel’s Convocation message.
For Forsthoefel, the experiences that led to his book emergec from a year of radical vulnerability and remarkable connection with people across the vast and varied spectrum of American humanity.
The book tells the stories of these encounters and is documentation of what’s possible with the ability and willingness to listen.
Witherow said a number of faculty members have indicated they plan to incorporate the book into their class schedules.
Back to School Bash, Fan Day
While he’s on campus, Forsthoefel will attend the Back to School Bash at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, in the Student Union Commons to sign copies of his book.
McPhee and first lady Elizabeth McPhee will host Forsthoefel for lunch before Sunday’s Convocation.
Following Convocation, MT Athletics has planned Fan Day beginning at 3 p.m. in Floyd Stadium.
MTSU fall 2022 classes begin Monday, Aug. 22.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)