Class of 2017 welcomed

By Dan O'Brien
August 28, 2013

The excitement over the arrival of the Class of 2017 continued August 28 with President Lee Pelton shaking the hands of every student before they were ushered into the Cutler Majestic Theatre and greeted by dancing orientation leaders.

 

Pelton

President Lee Pelton shakes hands with students at the official welcoming for the Class of 2017 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on August 28, 2013. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“We are at a particular moment in our history—an exciting moment,” Pelton told the 870 freshmen and 180 transfer students in a speech to officially convene the new class. “Whether you are in front of the camera or behind it, whether you are directors or actors, whether you teach the speechless to speak or you speak to others…you are Emerson.”

 

pelton

President Lee Pelton speaks with a student at the Cutler Majestic Theatre before the welcoming ceremony for the Class of 2017. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

Continuing the theme that started with Emerson’s vibrantly unique move-in procedures earlier in the week, upperclass student orientation leaders greeted the freshmen with singing and dancing inside the theater as speakers blasted upbeat music and Emerson trivia questions were posted on a motion picture screen.

 

students

Emerson orientation leaders dance at the start of the welcoming ceremony for the Class of 2017 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“[These] will be four years of intense engagement in the arts, communication, and liberal arts,” Pelton said. 

 

pelton podium

President Lee Pelton addresses new students at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on August 28, 2013. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“[These are] powerful fields of inquiry that develop your ability to think appreciatively but also deeply about the world we inhabit, and give you the tools to make the world a better place.”

Assistant Professor Ruth Grossman, of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, encouraged students to seek the help of their instructors whenever they have questions on material.

 

Grossman

Assistant Professor Ruth Grossman, of Communication Sciences and Disorders, addresses students. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“Despite what you might think at 2:00 am the night before a final, we actually want you to succeed,” said Grossman, recipient of last year’s Helaine and Stanley Miller Award for Outstanding Teaching. “So use us. Come to office hours. I have chocolate, I have jelly beans, I have hot cocoa. If you guys don’t show up, I’m liable to eat it all myself,” she said as students laughed. 

 

Lion

The Emerson Lion greets new students. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

More than 9,000 people applied to Emerson for this academic year—a record number of applicants, said MJ Knoll-Finn, vice president for enrollment, while addressing the students. She said 98 percent of accepted students graduated from high school in the academic top half of their classes, averaging a 3.6 grade point average.

 

Knoll-Finn

MJ Knoll-Finn, vice president of enrollment, addresses students. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

“Clearly, you’ve done something right,” Knoll-Finn said. “You have worked very hard—and we know it—in your high school years to be here today.”

 

orientation leaders

Student orientation leaders liven up the Cutler Majestic. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

More than 80 percent of new students come from outside of Massachusetts and more than 60 percent are from outside New England with California being the second-highest feeder state, Knoll-Finn said. More than 27 percent of students are from multicultural or international backgrounds, she said.

 

Spears

Sylvia Spears, vice president of diversity and inclusion, addresses students. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

Sylvia Spears, vice president for diversity and inclusion, reminded students that “active engagement with diversity of backgrounds, diversity of thought, and diversity of perspective enriches the experience of all members of our community.”

“During your time here, I encourage you to embrace all that Emerson has to offer,” she said. “Do it with an open mind, and, most importantly, with an open heart.”

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