UI convocation welcomes record-breaking class


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Rae Greving long knew she wanted to attend the University of Iowa.

“My dad is an alumnus of the university, and I just really love the atmosphere of Iowa City,” said the incoming freshman.

Greving was among the 4,500 freshmen who packed onto the Pentacrest lawn for an official welcome to the university.

UI President Sally Mason told students the important role music plays in the Hawkeye tradition, noting the Kickoff at Kinnick on Aug. 19, a part of the OnIowa program. There, incoming students learned the “Iowa Fight Song” and “On Iowa.”

“We can’t wait to see what contributions you make to Iowa traditions and the world’s future,” Mason said.

When students arrived, they received a sealed white envelope. An excerpt from the song “Old Gold,” a song composed in 1904 but whose use was discontinued in the 1970s, was inscribed on the front.

“We wanted to bring back the hymn “Old Gold” because although we are starting new traditions with the incoming class of 2015, we hoped to bring a sense of the past back as well,” said Emil Rinderspacher, the senior associate director of UI Admissions and a cohead of OnIowa.

Beth Ingram, the UI associate provost for undergraduate education, welcomed the class of 2015 with a poem by Shel Silverstein called “Yeses and Noes.” The quotation, she said explained the importance of thinking for oneself as the students make their way through college.

This year’s freshman convocation speaker, Storm Miller, was selected to speak after submitting a

YouTube audition video.

Quoting comedian Maria Bamford, “Am I anxious? No, I am paralyzed with hope,” Miller told his audience that regardless of the nerves about starting college, or the diversity of the class, each student remains connected as a Hawkeye.

Mason concluded the ceremony by inviting all of the class of 2015 back to her home for a block party with food and entertainment.

Despite the heat, students left inspired by the program.

“Convocation was a great experience,” freshman Rachel Vickery said while heading to the block party. “It really made me feel special and feel like a big part of the school.”

Kelly Ly, also a freshman, enjoyed Miller’s speech the most because she felt he really spoke to the class.

“It’s hard enough to give a speech to a crowd, let alone 4,500 students and faculty, but he did a great job connecting to all of the students and really explained how all of us have been feeling,” Ly said.

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