New Student Convocation



Their journey begins here…

August 17th at 5:30pm
Ramsey Regional Activity Center

New Student Convocation is an important event that marks the official welcome to the university. We are excited to congratulate and celebrate the arrival of WCU's new students with an event they will not forget. Please join our new Catamounts to honor this milestone event and also enjoy the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker: Nikki Giovanni!


Nikki Giovanni 

Nikki Giovanni

Convocation 2018 Keynote Speaker

I was asked to do a biography so this is it. I am 71 years old. I highly recommend old age; it's fun. I have been awarded an unprecedented 7 NAACP Image Awards which makes me very very proud. I have been nominated for a Grammy; been a finalist for the National Book Award. I am very proud to have authored 3 New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Sellers, highly unusual for a poet. I am a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. I don't have a lot of friends but I have good ones. I have a son and a granddaughter. My father, mother, sister and middle aunt are all deceased literarily making me go from being the baby in the family to being an elder. I like to cook, travel and dream. I'm a writer. I'm happy. To learn more about Ms. Giovanni, please visit her website.

Candle Lighting


New Student Convocation is an important event that marks the official welcome to the university. WCU Chancellor, Provost, Deans, Faculty, and staff convene to help mark the significance of this occasion.  Convocation is our official welcome and Commencement is our official congratulations – you did it!

What to Expect:

The Academic Processional
Led by the WCU Chancellor. 

An inspiring keynote address from Nikki Giovanni.
Poet, Distinguished Professor of English from Virginia Tech, and winner of seven NAACP Image Awards, Giovanni holds 21 Honorary Doctorate degrees, an impressively long list of awards and honors, and is the author of 32 publications, 16 recordings, and over 150 short stories, essays, and individual poems.

The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band
The band will perform and introduce you to the WCU alma-mater, inviting you to join them in singing along.

Candle Lighting Ceremony
A beautiful and symbolic tradition with the Academic College Deans and your upper-class peers The candle lighting represents faculty and students acting together to achieve enlightenment through acquisition of knowledge. Once lit, the candles serve as a reminder of your pride in Western Carolina University and its permanent place in your heart.

Banner Signing
New students will each sign the Student Community Creed. By signing this Creed, you are signifying that you are joining a community of scholars who will cherish your education and give back to this great institution and our community.

Class Photo
New Students will dismiss to the football field where they will be given a class of 2022 t-shirt and have their official class photo taken!

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