2014 Fall Academic Convocation

Welcome Class of 2018

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September 2, 2014 at 5 p.m. on the Bellarmine Lawn (Rain date, Sept. 9)

The Purpose and Focus of Convocation

Derived from the Latin "to call together," Convocation traditionally marks the start of the Academic year commemorated by a coming together of the Fairfield University community. In addition to welcoming the class of 2018, it is a time set aside for the community as a whole to reflect on not only academic pursuits but also the larger mission and values of the institution.

This is an especially important year. November 16, 2014, will mark twenty-fifth observance of the brutal murder of six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper in El Salvador. May 2014 witnessed the passing of historian and theologian Vincent Harding who was a close friend and confidant of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Despite different issues and places, their lives and stories can be seen as connected in the words of Dr. King in his famous "I Have a Dream" Speech not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. Over the course of the next academic year through the theme of "water", we additionally will be exploring the various ways that the push for social justice continues in areas related to both people and the environment.

Yohuru WilliamsK‌eynote Speaker

Our speaker, Dr. Yohuru Williams is Associate Academic Vice President at Fairfield. A noted author, educator, and speaker, Professor Williams was a senior at Fairfield College Preparatory School at the time of the El Salvador killings and regularly lectures about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Class of 2018 Common Read

Below you will find both a reading and a link to a video we are asking all incoming first-years to complete before September. Students can earn valuable FTE credit by engaging with materials. Please visit the Convocation Questions for Review and Reflection page.

This year's reading, "Beyond Amnesia: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Future of America" by the late Vincent Harding reflects on the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. The video is the actual ABC news coverage concerning the murders of 6 Jesuit priests in El Salvador, killed for standing up for academic freedom. Collectively these works are designed to help you think about how to wed academic achievement with the pursuit of social justice.

Video: Students can access the short video on the El Salvador murders from ABC News Nov 16, 1989.

Reading: Vincent Gordon Harding, "Beyond Amnesia: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Future of America", The Journal of American History, Vol. 74, No. 2. (Sep. 1987), pp. 468-476.

Summer Collaborate Webinar Experience - Earn your first FYI credit

In addition, there will be two 60-minute webinars scheduled on Wednesday, July 30 at 8:30 p.m. and Thursday, August 5 at 7 p.m., designed to allow students to engage with one another on the topics. This is also an opportunity to meet your new classmates and familiarize yourself with the virtual campus community through Facebook and Twitter. Please log in to your checklist to sign up for one of the Collaborate Webinar Experiences.

Useful links:
Water Theme
Questions for Review and ReflectionUniversity Honor Code