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Aug. 20: Convocation opens 120th academic year

Monday, August 20, 2012

FREDERICK, Md.—Hood College marked the start of its 120th academic year with its annual convocation ceremony and Hood College. President Ronald J. Volpe, Ph.D., welcomed new and returning students to campus Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. in the College's Hodson Outdoor Theater.

The student population includes 275 new first-year students, 246 new graduate students and 137 undergraduate students who have transferred to Hood from two-year and other four-year institutions.

Katherine Conway-Turner, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs, recognized outstanding student achievements and Amy Gottfried, professor of English and director of the master's in humanities program, gave the keynote address, entitled The Person Next to You: Collegiality in the College.

The ceremony was also filled with tradition, including the customary candle-lighting ceremony. Members of the class of 2016 recited the Hood Honor Code Pledge and, in recognition of attaining senior status and their forthcoming transition from students to alumni, each member of the senior class received a class pin from Hood's alumni executive board.

First-year students were welcomed not only by Hood tradition, but also by two new academic programs, each in their second year. The first-year read program is designed to provoke discussion and broaden students' understanding of the world. During the summer, these students read Leslie Chang's Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China and, during orientation, participated in small group discussions about the themes, issues and conflicts raised in the book. Where appropriate, faculty will incorporate those topics in their classes throughout the fall semester. In addition, Chang will visit classes Oct. 23 to discuss the book's themes and will give a lecture as part of The Hanson Lecture Series, established by a Hood alumna through The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, one of the oldest charitable community foundations in the country.

First-year students will also enroll in special courses under the First-year Seminar Program. These courses are designed to sharpen presentation and writing skills while exploring interdisciplinary subjects within small classroom settings. Students can choose from 13 seminar courses, including To Probe or Not to Probe: The Psychology of Near-death Experiences, Out-of-Body Experiences and Alien Abduction; Explorations Through the New Yorker; and Menus, Restaurants, Cookbooks and Diets: What They’re Selling and Why We Buy It.

View photos of the Convocation ceremony