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Academic Year Kicks-Off With Convocation Ceremony

September 6, 2023

The 2023-24 academic year officially began on Tuesday, Sept. 5 with the first day of classes and the annual Convocation ceremony and picnic.

Members of the Class of 2024 donned the robes they'll wear again at May's Commencement and were joined by select faculty and senior staff for a procession down Senior Row, where a stage and audience seating were arranged. There, they were joined by other members of the Bryn Mawr community to hear words of encouragement from President Kim Cassidy, Dean of the Undergraduate College Karlene Burrell-McRae, Professor of History of Art Homay King on behalf of the faculty, Ph.D. candidate Stella Fritzell on behalf of the graduate students, and SGA President Bryn Osborne '24.

For her remarks, Cassidy drew on the findings of Professor of Psychology Marc Schulz from his best-selling book The Good Life, saying:

"We know that people who report subjective happiness or well-being are more productive. They get more done, are better at what they do, and are healthier. So maybe as we think about all the big, amazing possibilities of this new year, we might also make space for some small, everyday possibilities that can become just as amazing:

  • Offer a greeting to someone you pass on campus
  • Try to do an act of kindness, however small, each day
  • Ask a great question, and really listen to the answer and ask another one
  • Try to see the people you are with for who they are in all of their complexities and imperfections
  • Be generousstart with an assumption of common purposeit will be a lot easier to find it if you start there."

"If we cultivate these acts as an individual and community practice, we will have a better chance of living a good life, and we will strengthen our community at the same time. We will be more likely to achieve what is on our to-do list, we will be more likely to build those important relationships and we will be more likely to find joy in our work and play. And that is my true aspiration for this particular academic year, that we all find more connection and more joy as we pursue our work together. Here’s to a wonderful year, particularly for the amazing Class of 2024, let’s make it a good one for them!"

The event also provided an opportunity to recognize students who received awards for the 2022-23 academic year.