Convocation bridges freshman to ULM


At the beginning of each semester, ULM hosts Convocation, an event that marks the start of a new academic year. The event begins with the “Freshman March” where first-time students walk from the library, across Bayou DeSiard bridge and end at the coliseum, to welcome the freshman.
This year, ULM’s director of retention, Dr. Barbara Michaelides, led the Convocation ceremony. She introduced many speakers including: Dr. Nick J. Bruno, alumnus Alton Clay, SGA President Olivia Bailey and 31 Ambassadors President Cameron Tingle.
The main speaker of the event, Alton Clay, hoped to enlighten freshman with his personal experience as a ULM student in 2013.

“For me, once I got here things shifted and that might happen to some of you,” Clay said. “Things happen out of your control but if you keep focus and you keep going, you can adjust.”
After the initial ceremony, the freshman went to Malone Stadium to participate in a pep rally. ULM’s executive associate director of athletics, Todd Dooley, opened the pep rally with a speech about the upcoming football season. This excited freshman elementary education major, Julia Hogan, who has a love for the sport.
“Football season is about to start which is always a fun time of the year,” Hogan said.

Freshman communication major, Jesus Aguilar, was nervous for her first semester at ULM before Convocation. After the event, he said he felt more at ease and open to the experiences college has to offer.
“Convocation was a fun way to know what college life will be like,” Aguilar said. “I came in a bit nervous and shy but then I left more open and excited for what college will be like.”
For an assignment in university seminar, the freshman were required to take photos with people they met at Convocation. Freshman music education major, Emma McCandlish, met friends while completing the assignment.
“I loved taking different pictures with people I didn’t know,” McCandlish said. “I made some good friends while doing so.”

Junior marketing major, Marcus Ehle, started going to ULM in 2017. Ehle can remember his Convocation experience like it happened yesterday. He didn’t know many people on campus, but he slowly began talking to those around him and found out they were friendly.
Ehle hopes all freshman that attended Convocation realize getting involved on campus “enhances” your college experience.