Hundreds of new students and their families attended UNM’s Freshman Family Day on a Sunday afternoon before the Fall semester started. The event, which includes the Freshman Convocation, a reception, classroom tours and a movie on Johnson Field, drew an estimated 3,000 people. Approximately 1,000 were first time UNM students.
Freshman Family Day is an opportunity for beginning students and their families to meet University leaders, get a feel for the campus and find their class locations. It starts with Freshman Convocation, a symbolic and traditional event marking the beginning of the academic year and most importantly, welcoming incoming students to the institution. The ceremony, usually a combination of the serious and the light-hearted, recognizes student achievement and introduces them to the University’s culture, to its history and traditions, to its administrators, faculty and staff.
Prior to the ceremony, President Robert G. Frank joined by Lobo Louie and Lucy and the Lobo Spirit Team led the incoming class of 2017 in the Lobo pledge, then asked them all to put on their red T-shirts, a tradition he started last year as a new University president who is a former lobo himself.
Provost Chaouki Abdallah served as emcee introducing speakers, entertainers and recognizing students who excelled in their high school classes or earned scholarships. President Frank’s convocation address encouraged freshmen to expect the unexpected and to change their perspective, so they can see how that changes things around them.
Other speakers included Regents’ President Jack Fortner, Faculty Senate President Richard Holder and ASUNM President Isaac Romero, who encouraged students to stay involved and go to class. Parent Association President Angi Gonzales Carver also welcomed parents.
Performances included a folk rock band called “The Noms,” Flamenco dancers, guitarist Andrew Montaño, Mariachi Tradicional and the Omega Delta Phi Step Team. The Lobo Marching Band led the freshmen in the UNM fight song.
Popejoy Hall, which seats 1885 and Rodey Theatre, which holds 420 people, were both filled to capacity. Another 350 guests watched a live video stream in the SUB. Following the ceremony, students and family members relaxed and enjoyed hotdogs and ice cream.
Afterward, volunteers from the Greek student groups, resident advisors and other student groups gave tours to more than 1,100 students, many accompanied by their parents. Class Crawl, as it is called, helps new students find their classes prior to the first day of school. The day closed with a relaxing “drive-in” style movie – Star Trek into Darkness – on Johnson Field.
To view a slideshow of the event, visit: Freshman Convocation 2013.