Faculty and administrators line the sidewalk to applaud freshmen walking to the new school year’s convocation.
Oklahoma City University began the new academic year with the Matriculation Convocation on Aug. 18 in Kirkpatrick Auditorium.
This opening worship service previously was held in the chapel, but an overflow crowd there last year necessitated the move to the larger Kirkpatrick Auditorium. Almost every seat was filled in this performance hall this year.
OCU continued the tradition of greeting new undergraduates with applause from faculty, administration, and trustees, who lined the sidewalk to the auditorium. The line began in Centennial Plaza, near 23rd Street, and stretched to the Fine Arts Center.
New President Robert Henry put the freshmen at ease by noting this also is his first year at OCU. A stirring anthem by the 80-voice Matriculating Freshmen Chorus was one highlight of the service, led by the vice-president for University Church Relations, UM clergywoman Margaret Ball. Freshmen joined in another university tradition; touching the gold star symbol on their way from the building. This gesture served as a sign of their covenant to uphold the United Methodist tradition of academic excellence, spiritual development, and service to others.
Throughout orientation week, a number of freshmen commented on the warm welcome they received. This included appreciation for upperclassmen helping them move into the dorms and opportunities to share meals together and meet new friends.