In a more casual ceremony than in past years, students enjoyed gelato, planted a tree, and received an important message from President Warden.
Franklin’s 2020 Convocation Ceremony was held on Wednesday, September 9, celebrating our community and the end of round one of fall semester quarantine. Our president, Dr. Gregory Warden, inaugurated the beginning of the 2020-2021 Academic Year.
Convocation is an annual, usually formal, ceremony to welcome the newest class of students and kick off the academic year. It is a coming together of Franklin’s faculty, staff, and students to affirm the university’s mission and values. This year, a mini-convocation, sans speaker and auditorium gathering, was held entirely outdoors. Throughout the afternoon, we celebrated 200 people taking the Pledge to protect our community. Small assigned groups sampled gelato, some for the first time, and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Recently emerged from quarantine, freshman Nick Belet ’24 shared his feelings on the safety measures being taken by Franklin. “They are important to keep us all safe and the people we care about. I think Franklin is doing a fantastic job with containing and managing this whole coronavirus pandemic.”
Shortly after 6 p.m., an apple tree was planted. Planting fruit trees has been an important part of Convocation for several years, symbolizing our proud past, deeply rooted in the liberal arts, and our mission to grow and bear fruit: the leaders of tomorrow. For Daniela Gerber ‘21, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in International Management next spring, the tree planting represents growth. “The tree grows, even though it’s little by little. At the end it becomes something big and powerful.”
This apple tree will represent Franklin’s new students, the Class of 2024. Leaders from the Student Government Association (SGA) and other student groups were in attendance. The event was live-streamed on Franklin’s Instagram and Facebook pages.
Though stripped down, and perhaps because of this, the 2020 Convocation Ceremony revealed the heart of Franklin University Switzerland. We are a small university, capable of great things because of our strong community connections. President Warden said it best when he gave a simple but motivational directive for the coming year as the ceremony closed: “Let’s stick together and look after each other.”
We wish our students a successful semester and a rewarding Franklin experience!