Remembering His First Convocation
Jujuan Day began his college journey as part of the first freshman class here at Governors State University. He remembers lining up for Convocation and not really knowing what to expect from a school that historically had served only upper division students.
“I remember they told us we were the first, but the meaning didn’t hit me until we marched into the auditorium,” said Day. “I was excited yet nervous, but when I heard the applause I felt like they were applauding my presence. When I sat down it felt like I was joining the community.”
The year JuJuan Day arrived, 2014, was a year of transformation —The Trans4mation — as GSU became a comprehensive four –year University. This momentous year of change marked a shift for the University and the tone of Convocation.
In the past, the ceremony had welcomed students, but the emphasis was on the State of the University Address given by GSU President Elaine P. Maimon.
2016 is the third year of our new tradition, making students the focus of Convocation. All student classes—2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 (the new freshman class) will march in with gonfalons (big banners) heralding their entrance. The Dual Degree Program (DDP) students will act as an honor guard.
While students are at the center, Convocation will also honor faculty and staff members who serve students. Three Faculty Excellence Awards and the Baysore Award will be announced as a surprise to recipients and to those assembled. Students will share in the excitement and hear the remarkable work done by faculty and staff.
President Maimon will speak briefly, emphasizing the student experience and what it means to be a part of GSU’s Jaguar Nation. For Jujuan Day, that experience has led him to become a peer mentor and orientation leader. He is now responsible for helping new students throughout the school year. He credits Convocation with helping him gain the confidence to join programs that integrated him into GSU’s community.
“I definitely felt like Convocation was necessary for me because when I first got here I didn’t want to talk to anybody,” remembered Day. “Convocation opened me up to talk to people, and I was happy to see the president there to welcome us.”
“We are welcoming new and returning students into the Jaguar Family,” says President Maimon, “Second only to Commencement, Convocation is an important GSU tradition.”
The 47th annual Convocation ceremony will be held on Friday, August 26 at 3 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts. There will be an ice cream social in the Hall of Governors immediately after.