DUBOIS, Pa. -- More than 230 students from across the country and around the globe officially became part of the Penn State DuBois community Aug. 20 at Convocation ceremonies and New Student Orientation held on campus.
Director of Enrollment Melissa Duttry passed on a list containing the names of the new students to Chancellor Melanie Hatch, signifying the steps students have taken to move through the admissions process to full-student status. Duttry remarked that the population of the incoming class is very diverse in the places they've traveled from to attend Penn State DuBois.
"This group of students comes from 10 states, including Pennsylvania," said Duttry. "You are from 25 different Pennsylvania counties and 80 high schools. This year’s class includes students from as close as Main Street in Brockway and as far away as Kealakekua, Hawaii, and China."
Hatch offered the official welcome to the University, saying, "During your time here, I sincerely hope that you will discover what a special place our campus is. Over the course of the day, you will meet many of our faculty and staff who will be your mentors, your cheerleaders, your guides and your counselors. They will challenge you, they will coach you, and they will inspire you. One day you will look back and realize how much influence they had on shaping you as an individual."
Throughout her address, Hatch urged students to embrace every opportunity to grow, be involved and excel through personal growth both in the classroom and beyond.
"On Friday, we will be participating in the annual Community Outreach Day as part of a day of service to our local friends and neighbors," Hatch said. "We will be sending 18 teams of students accompanied by faculty and staff members to various organizations in the community. It is our hope that after this experience you will continue to volunteer your time and talents in the future. You will see the power that we have to make a difference in the lives of others, especially when we come together as a team to get the work done."
Hatch also reminded students that a well-rounded education means following one's own interests and passions, and that now could be a time to find out what some of those passions might be.
"This is your time to try new things; join one of our amazing student clubs, say hello to someone you don’t know, or run for a position in student government," she said. "You don’t know what you might find fun until you try it for the first time. Stretch yourself."
Through it all, the chancellor advised students to remain true to themselves. Taking a quote from Dr. Seuss, she said, "'Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.' I suppose this quote really speaks for itself but I think the important part here is not to lose sight of that. While you will meet many people you want to emulate and who will be great role models for you, no one else can live your life for you. Don’t be afraid to bring your 'you-ness' to everything you do and let nothing hold you back."
In order to fuel the community spirit on campus, new students spent the morning following Convocation ceremonies participating in icebreaker exercises as part of their orientation. They worked in groups to accomplish tasks, such as moving plastic cups using only string, without directly touching the cups, and passing hula-hoops down a line of people standing, hand-in-hand, without breaking the human chain. The exercises were designed to demonstrate the importance of team work and critical thinking — concepts that educators at Penn State DuBois believe are paramount to a well-rounded education.