Convocation Celebrates Start of New Academic Year

By | September 5, 2023

Dias at Convocation, President Olson speakingDaemen University officially kicked off the 2023-2024 academic year and welcomed new students and their families to campus during the institution’s annual Convocation ceremony Friday afternoon.

The fall tradition serves as a formal greeting for new undergraduate students who have enrolled at Daemen.

A bagpipe and drum quartet played as faculty members, carrying gonfalons with the names of the university’s academic programs, and hundreds of students processed into Lumsden Gymnasium.

“Convocation is always a unique and memorable time of the year,” said President Gary A. Olson. “Through convocation, we do something deeply important: we reaffirm our commitment to academic excellence, and we celebrate our common purpose, which is to provide each and every student a first-rate education no matter what.”

Students sitting at ConvocationFor the first time, Convocation was held as part of a new format, which saw first-year student and family orientation held during move-in weekend.

“Today, at our annual convocation ceremony, we do not just welcome you and our new students and their families to our class, but we also connect you with over three-quarters of a century of history and tradition, initiating you into a network of support and friendship that will follow you throughout your life,” added Dr. Greg Nayor, senior vice president of strategic initiatives.

Keynote speaker and alum Dr. Kino Quashie, who graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s in childhood and special education, reflected on his time at Daemen, and credited the university with not just molding his education but also his character.

Dr. Nayor and Student Body president at Convocation “I learned that being true to yourself not only empowers you but also inspires others,” Dr. Quashie said. “Life, much like college, is an evolving journey. Embracing change, even when uncomfortable, is vital to personal growth.”

Dr. Quashie, a first-generation student from New York City, went on to earn various degrees and currently serves as the assistant principal of supervision and special education for the New York City Department of Education.

“I encourage you all to dive into the rich tapestry of clubs and organizations available to you on campus,” he added. “These experiences taught me the transformative power of commitment and the profound impact of community involvement.”

Chantel Moya, the president of the Student Government Association, also urged the students to get involved in the Daemen community.

“Whether you are a first-year student or a senior, I urge you to cherish every moment of your college experience,” Moya said. “The friendships you make, the lessons you learn, and the memories you create will stay with you for a lifetime.”