Special Feature: Wildcat Welcome 2010

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President's Convocation Wraps Wildcat Welcome

President Morton Schapiro helps new students launch their college careers

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September 20, 2010 | by Matt Paolelli
Produced by Matt Paolelli
After a week of icebreakers, orientation sessions and preparations for the start of classes, new students at Northwestern University concluded the Wildcat Welcome festivities with the annual President’s Convocation Sept. 20.

President Morton Schapiro officially welcomed new students and challenged them to take advantage of the numerous opportunities the Northwestern experience affords -- from taking advantage of Chicago’s close proximity to taking classes that would push students out of their comfort zone.

“The really good thing about the quarter system is that there’s no excuse not to take a very wide variety of courses,” he said. “With 12 courses a year, try to make sure you take art history, philosophy, math and music because it might be your last chance to do so.”
 
Schapiro urged freshmen to get to know their classmates and look out for one another, while also sharing details on new traditions to build community across campus. Students erupted in cheers when Schapiro announced that rappers Snoop Dogg and Kid Cudi would perform at Welsh-Ryan Arena Oct. 15 for A&O Productions’ annual fall show.

Claire Lew, Associated Student Government president, said her undergraduate experience helped to better define her purpose and passions in life.

“There is no better place in the world to discover that passion, purpose and meaning than here at Northwestern,” she said. “You just get four years with some of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. You’re part of a community that measures value in terms of impact, not outcome.”

Dan Lewis, director of the Center for Civic Engagement and professor of human development and social policy, discussed upcoming programming for this year's One Book One Northwestern selection, “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder, and encouraged students to participate in the community reading project.

Other speakers to address students at the convocation were William Banis, vice president for student affairs, and Charles Katzenmeyer, Northwestern Alumni Association president.