On Friday . . .
. . . we formally welcomed the incoming class and their parents to the University during New Student Convocation: A Welcome Ceremony to Kick Off Your Akron Experience. The class is diverse, coming to us from across Ohio, 31 other states and 10 countries. They are also more academically prepared for college, the result of our new admissions strategy that provides a pathway to success for each student who wants to come to UA.
As we looked out on the sea of faces—students, friends, family—we saw anticipation and felt a sense of hope and optimism. These freshmen are looking to us to help them define their dreams, to plot their journeys to success, to make their Akron Experience both memorable and productive. We promised an educational experience that begins in our classrooms and labs, and extends to the community, into the businesses and organizations that will give our students the practical experience to prepare them for job opportunities and advanced degrees and a lifetime of achievement. These elements – combined with research and cultural experiences, study-abroad opportunities, service projects, career planning and faculty support – are what we call The Akron Experience, and it will enable this incoming class to have extraordinary opportunities as innovators, creators, contributors and community leaders here and as postgraduates.
We told these incoming freshmen that we, as a University, measure our own success by how successful they are. We made a promise to them, and we asked for a promise in return. Vice President Jim Tressel asked the members of the incoming class to make a commitment to gather together again in May of 2016, as the graduating class: "Your Akron Experience will be for a lifetime. We are all in this together, a family forever."
The marching band capped off the ceremony, with extraordinary precision and pride. We are off to a great start: one mother described moving in her daughter as the “most efficient and hassle-free experience….Whatever your system is, it is working extremely well,” she wrote in an e-mail to us. Her trust is valued and well-placed, because our faculty and staff are prepared for another successful year.
Join us in showing your pride and your contribution to The Akron Experience by wearing blue and gold on Thursday for “The Roo Wears Blue" day in support of all of our students, and particularly our student-athletes, who will represent us that evening at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field for the football home-opener. Go Zips!
Thank you for all you do to assure student success.
With every good wish,
William "Mike" Sherman