University Park, IL,
10:27 AM

50th Anniversary Convocation 2019

In Greek culture, Convocation is the formal coming together of a group of people for a special purpose, mostly ecclesiastical or academic. In keeping with Governors State University's tradition, new and returning students will gather on Aug. 26  for the special purpose of kicking off the academic year.

Gov. JB Pritzker will be on hand to celebrate the occasion, made even more auspicious by the university's 50th anniversary this year.

"We are honored that Governor Pritzker is joining us at this 50th anniversary Convocation to celebrate GSU’s distinguished past and to look ahead to a bright future of innovation, continuity, and student service,'' said GSU President Elaine P. Maimon.

Dr. Maimon will lead the ceremony of inspirational speeches to students, faculty and staff and a celebration of  excellence during the previous academic year.  The recipients of  the annual Excellence Award will be announced, along with the GSU employee to receive the highest honor, the Baysore Award, named for the late GSU Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Gerald C. Baysore.

In a break from tradition, the university is launching a new ritual this year.

Beginning in the fall, a new "common period"  will be set aside every Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. to allow students to connect and engage beyond the classroom. Additionally, the new class schedule will create a natural break for lunch everyday from 12:50 to 1:30 p.m.

Aurelio Valente, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management., said the idea is to provide a regular time slot every week, freeing students to meet for activities that build community and help them thrive and succeed.

“With a common period, we can schedule scholarly events and speakers that appeal to a broad audience, the Academic Resource Center can schedule study groups, the Counseling and Wellness Center can schedule support groups, students can meet to work on group projects, and student organizations can host open meetings and events,” he said.

To help kick start programming, the Division of Student Affairs is offering mini- grants up to $1,000 for student groups, departments and colleges to sponsor events during the common period.

Valente applauded Associate Professor and Faculty Senate President David Golland for advancing the idea of a common period. Golland said a task force of faculty, students, staff, academic administration, and non-academic administration worked on the concept, known as “club hours,” for two years. 

Convocation will be followed by lunch and ice cream in the Hall of Governors, and kick off a week long celebration to welcome Jaguars back to campus.

Students planning to attend Convocation can RSVP here.