The Converse community celebrated the formal opening of this academic year by gathering in Twichell Auditorium to hear from campus leaders, honor top scholarship recipients from the Class of 2021, present the Spirit of Converse Award, and enjoy beautiful performances by our Petrie School of Music students and faculty. The Pink Panther Class of 2018 processed in robes for their first formal occasion as seniors, donning panther tails and other pink accents that display their creative and fun spirit.
“You can do it. I believe in you. Now, you must believe in you.”
During her welcome, President Krista Newkirk dispelled the myth that women suffer from the “Imposter Syndrome” at a higher rate than men, when in reality we have been misled to believe women lack confidence more so than men. She encouraged Converse women to believe in themselves and lift up one another in encouragement to follow their dreams. “Each and every one of you belongs at Converse. Each of you can be successful here and can go on to find employment in a field that you ultimately find to be personally rewarding,” she said. “You can do it. I believe in you. Now, you must believe in you.”
“SGA serves to unify our campus…by recognizing our diversity in all the beautiful ways it manifests, by always improving, and by empowering each other to act.”
Student Government Association President Olivia Haas ’18 explored the history and purpose of Converse’s tradition or student self-governance, noting that Converse was the second college in the Southeast to form such a system of student leadership. “SGA serves to unify our campus,” she said. “How? First and foremost by recognizing our diversity in all the beautiful ways it manifests, by always improving, and by empowering each other to act.” She charged students to begin their year by considering their purpose, their passion, their beliefs and their cause – and be guided by these to find a renewed energy, focus and path to success.
The service also included presentation of the Spirit of Converse Award to Chaplain Jason Loscuito. The award is one of the College’s most distinctive honors celebrating those who go above and beyond the call of duty in serving Converse. Top scholarship recipients from the Class of 2021 were recognized for their accomplishment. The keynote address was given by Dr. Douglas Jensen, recipient of the 2017 Kathryne Amelia Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching.
(Video of the keynote address is not published at the speaker’s request due to its personal nature.)