By Zack Bennett
Lander University opened the new semester with an Academic Convocation on Aug. 30 in Finis Horne Arena.
“I’m delighted that you’ve joined us today for Academic Convocation,” said Scott Jones, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “The last few years have been challenging for us, but the worst is behind us and we can look ahead to what promises to be a fantastic year.”
“If you’re unfamiliar with the term convocation, it is a calling together of people,” said Jones. “For universities, academic convocation is a tradition where we celebrate the start of a new year of learning.”
After the welcome from Jones, the Old Main Singers took the stage under the direction of Dr. Chuck Neufeld, professor of music, for a performance of the University’s alma mater.
Dr. Jennifer Yates, assistant provost of Faculty Development, Teaching & Learning and professor of psychology, took the stage following the choir’s performance. Yates, a neuroscientist, reflected on her academic journey, noting that when looking through her childhood report cards, “The courses that were consistently not my highest grades were my science courses.”
“What those grades tell me is that I didn’t have some innate ability to do science, I didn’t have some fabulous aptitude that I started out with,” she said. “It took interest and a lot of hard work for me to get here and become a neuroscientist.”
“The key thing, the primary goal in college, is to learn how to become a learner. To learn how to learn.” Yates highlighted the idea that the ability to learn new things in addition to subject expertise is the foundation for success. “It’s a skill you can build just like any other.”
Three Lander seniors followed Yates with their words of wisdom: Jordan Cannon, of Chapin; Mia Crankfield, of Green Sea; and Thomas Histon, of Greenville.
“It’s important to get involved on campus, make friends and be a part of activities that make Lander feel like home,” said Cannon. “But it’s also okay to spend a Saturday watching Netflix and eating Oreos in bed.”