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Sharing collective dreams on Franklin's future

Sharing collective dreams on Franklin's future

Convocation is always an uplifting event at Franklin, a chance for freshmen and new  students to gather with the university community for the first time,  and an annual celebration of the start of another exciting academic  year.


This year, Convocation was held on the second day of classes of the Fall 22' semester, on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.


The afternoon kicked off at 5 p.m. on the Kaletch Campus with a  student favorite, the local Gelato Truck giving out free ice cream to  first-year students on the campus parking lot. Next off, students,  staff, and faculty headed to the Nielsen auditorium for the ceremony.


Convocation opened with a welcome speech by Andrew Starcher, Vice  President of Academic Affairs, and brief remarks by professors Johanna  Fassl and Lori Montross on the concepts of magic and dreams. "A magic  dwells in each beginning" are the words of Herman Hesse that Professor  Fassl recited. She and Professor Montross invited all present in the  auditorium to think about the magic of the moment, asking some to share  their dreams for the new academic year.


"My dream is to meet wonderful people, including classmates and  professors, learning from them, finding out what I'm interested in, and  diving deep into different subjects." shared a student.


"The dream is to inspire all the new students I met today, keeping  them stimulated and interested throughout the year, and hoping that they  will carry the teaching concepts and also make a change in the future  for us all." added a professor.


"I have a dream that Franklin will succeed and move forward, and that  is a dream that all of us need to have, and I ask you today to share it  with me," answered Kim Hildebrant, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.


Subsequently, professor Brack Hale, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs,  introduced this year's Convocation keynote speaker, Franklin's  President himself, Samuel Martín-Barbero, in his first official address  to the whole university. President Martín-Barbero proceeded in giving an  inspiring speech explaining 4 life lessons learned by his late  long-time friend, mentor, and role model, Rafael, connecting them to  Franklin's nature.


"Number 1, one does not travel to arrive but just to travel, and  Franklin articulates this majestically through academic travels,  considering life as an educational journey, a path full of meaning and  self-discovery. Lesson number 2, embracing the notice that we will  always be ignorant for life. There are no silly questions and one should  remember to always offer simple answers. Third, trying out new things,  and mixing learning, experimentation, and leisure together. I find that  these are perfectly incubated in Franklin's liberal arts and sciences  curriculum. Number 4 and final lesson, fighting pessimism and always  seeing the glass as half full and not half empty. The wish is for each  and every one of us to strive towards intellectual growth, extroversion,  and becoming committed and active citizens of the world."


President Martín-Barbero concluded "I am most grateful for the  privilege of becoming first your colleague and team player, only  afterward your president and leader. The future for Franklin starts now,  and let me say with great joy that it is our task to create a better  university, to refine, remodel, and create a better version of Franklin  and of ourselves, especially in these turbulent times. Are you ready to  face this challenge? I am and hope you are too."


The commemoration ended with the traditional tree planting ceremony,  where a fruit tree was planted on the Kaletsch Campus lawn. The tree  symbolizes Franklin’s incoming students, the Class of 2026, whose roots  will firmly be planted in the fertile Swiss soil of Franklin, but whose  branches will spread out over the coming years to encompass the globe. A  new tree equals new life, new wisdom, and new experiences.


In just four days of the first week of classes, emotions and  enthusiasm have been filling the Franklin community's spirit. New  students also joined the Student Involvement Fair,  held at the Grotto on Kaletsch Campus on Wednesday, August 24, to learn  all about student clubs, activities, and events on campus, and meet the  Student Government Association and representatives of the Office of Student Life.


For more information on upcoming events on campus, check the Franklin App (for Android or iPhone) or the University Calendar.