With pomp and circumstance, the Class of 2017 and transfer students marked their formal matriculation into the Rollins community during the 127th convocation on Thursday, August 22.
In delivering his greetings to the 555 new students in the audience, Student Government Association President Robert Salmeron ’14 provided insight on what the next four years would mean to the incoming class. Salmeron said that he discovered his life’s purpose when he learned the power of the Rollins mission, realizing the importance of living a meaningful life, having a productive career, and learning what empowering leaders and students can do. “I’m proud to call myself a Tar. I’m proud to be a part of this amazing community, and I’m proud to welcome the incoming class into our family,” Salmeron said.
Vice President of Student Affairs Mamta Accapadi also addressed the students. “As a tree grows, it gets stronger and stronger and eventually bows down under the weight of the branches, leaves, and fruit, as if paying homage to the earth and soil. If you haven’t offered gratitude to the people who supported you on your journey to this point, let’s offer gratitude to those who allowed you to be here today.”
As a fellow newcomer to Rollins, Accapadi told the students of her excitement in sharing quite possibly, one of the most significant journeys of their lifetime. “I envision for all of you a Rollins experience that instills in you a lifelong passion for learning and service and that you will be empowered to explore your intellectual curiosity, achieve excellence, and engage wholeheartedly, compassionately, and joyfully in the world around you.”
Selected from the largest pool of applicants in the College’s history, the 480 first-year students and 75 transfers represent 374 high schools and 54 colleges and universities in 34 states and 28 countries.
“Someone asked me recently to describe the average Rollins student,” Dean of Admission and Enrollment David Erdmann said. “And I responded that the average Rollins student isn’t average. You are the proof of that. In one way or the other you have all stood out, and many of you excelled, in the classroom, on the athletic field or in the performing arts, and in your communities as entrepreneurs and volunteers.”
“There are plenty of current student and graduate achievements to brag about at Rollins,” Erdmann concluded, “but you, members of the entering Class of 2017 and transfer students, are today’s big door prize. Who wouldn’t be proud to present you as an entering class who will continue those traditions? I am.”