Rollins Welcomes the Class of 2015

August 22, 2011

Director of Multicultural Affairs Mahjabeen Rafiuddin
In honor of Ramadan, Director of Multicultural Affairs Mahjabeen Rafiuddin recites an Islamic blessing. (Photo by Jill Gable)

With its usual pageantry, Rollins College officially kicked-off the 2011-12 academic year as faculty, staff, students and proud parents gathered in the Alfond Sports Center to ceremoniously welcome the Class of 2015. The College’s 125th Convocation, held Friday, August 19, gave incoming students the opportunity to hear remarks and advice from College administrators and student leaders.

Director of Multicultural Affairs Mahjabeen Rafiuddin opened the event with the invocation saying, “May peace be upon our new students and their families.” She then recited an Islamic blessing in Arabic that encouraged the incoming scholars to “uncover the truth and the mystery of life and living in this world as you study here at Rollins.”

The program continued with Vice Mayor of Winter Park Honorable Steven Leary taking the podium to read a proclamation that declared Saturday, August 20 as Rollins College Community Service Day in the City of Winter Park. Leary described Rollins as a “tremendous community partner” and thanked the College for its “longstanding partnership that dates back more than 125 years.”

Gregory Derderian (Class of 1980 P’12 P’12MBA) and Clayton Ferrera (Class of 2009)
Alumnus Gregory Derderian presents Clayton Ferrara (Class of 2009) with a Young Alumni Achievement Award. (Photo by Jill Gable)

Next, Gregory Derderian (Class of 1980 P’12 P’12MBA), officer of the Rollins Alumni Association, presented the Young Alumni Achievement Award - Central Florida to Clayton Ferrara (Class of 2009). Among many things, Ferrara was recognized for his community activism, his fundraising for the Oakland Nature Preserve and his work with I.D.E.A.S. (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions).

President of the Student Government Association Alexandria Mozzicato (Class of 2012) cheerfully greeted the audience saying, “Today is not just the beginning of a new school year, but also a new chapter in our lives.” Mozzicato advised the sea of first-year students before her to keep an open mind, get out of their comfort zone and get to know the amazing faculty and staff. “You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime,” she promised.

Andrea Micci, chair of the Academic Honor Council, followed with words of wisdom about the importance of rising to the elevated standards set forth by the College. Quoting Sophocles, she encouraged students to, “Fall by honor rather than succeed by fraud.” The Class of 2015 together then signed the Academic Honor Code.

For her first opportunity to officially address the Rollins community, newly appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Carol Bresnahan offered students the advice to, “Be concerned about where you are going but also focus on enjoying the experience on the way there,” she said. “Do well and do good.” Bresnahan then introduced Vice President for Planning and Dean of the College Laurie Joyner who encouraged the students to actively engage in their liberal arts education. “Explore your passions, join or start a club, study abroad, enroll in an internship course, participate in athletics and participate in original collaborative scholarship,” she advised. “Integrate student life and learning and you’ll experience a liberal arts education second to none.”

Dean of Admission and Enrollment David Erdmann used a prop as part of his address, choosing a globe he said represented “the very best of what this world has to offer in terms of its youth.” Erdmann told Class of 2015, “We hope you’ll take this experience as a springboard to go out in this world and change—perhaps even save—it.”

Finally, President Lewis Duncan closed out the ceremony by saying “you bring much to us to enrich our lives and learning just as we have much to share with you.” He then declared the College officially in session.

Rollins begins the 2011-12 school year with a projected 1,785 students. Here are some interesting facts about the incoming class:

• Anticipated 558 incoming first-year students and 80 transfer students
• Incoming students were accepted from a pool of nearly 5,000 applications (a 33 percent larger applicant pool than just two years ago and the largest in the College’s history)
• Incoming class represents 390 high schools and 50 colleges from 37 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 32 foreign countries (46 percent of class is from Florida)

Rollins' Evening Program also held an academic convocation to welcome its incoming students. The Hamilton Holt School begins the year with a projected 745 undergraduate students and 262 graduate students.

View more photos from Convocation.

By Kristen Manieri

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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