WHERE & WHEN:
Thursday - September 4, 2014 | Oviatt Library Lawn
Ceremony Begins at 6:00 p.m.
Assemble in Matador Square beginning at 5:30 p.m.
This tradition annually welcomes the freshman class as participants to the campus community and inspire excitement for learning, marking the beginning of one's CSUN academic journey.
Freshman Convocation Program Summary and Highlights
Event purpose: The Freshman Convocation is an annual celebration of learning which is a collaboration of Student and Academic Affairs for the first time freshman class. It connects the concepts of in-classroom and out-of- classroom learning by focusing on the Freshman Common Reading. The Freshman Convocation committee will first seek to have the book’s author serve as the keynote speaker. It is also intended as a formal welcome extended to the class by the President, administration and campus community. More information on the past Convocations can be found at http://www.csun.edu/nso/freshman-convocation
Event structure: The New Student orientation leaders guide the freshman class on a symbolic journey that attempts to unify the class and teach them the campus symbols and rituals. The freshman class is assembled in Matador Square and led down Matador Walk to the Oviatt Library Lawn by a processional of Associate Deans, faculty and student leaders. The campus executives and Deans await the students at the top of the Oviatt Library steps which serve as a symbolic ascent to the campus center of learning at the programs conclusion.
History: Begun in 2007, this year will mark the seventh annual Freshman Convocation. This program is distinguished by its past keynote speakers and by its recognition by the campus receiving the CSUN Team Award in 2008 which noted the campus-wide collaboration and involvement required to plan and to execute the event annually.
Year Keynote Speaker Freshman Common Reading
2007 Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
2008 Barbara Ehrenreich Nickle and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
2009 Steve Lopez The Soloist by Steve Lopez
2010 Holly Robinson-Peete The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
2011 Jeannette Walls The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
2012 Chitra Divakaruni One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni
2013 Edward Humes Garbology by Edward Humes
2014 Drew Magary The Postmortal by Drew Magary
Other distinguishing aspects of the program: A successful student or alumnus is chosen to provide a brief speech of practical advice; original march music (“March of the Matadors”) was created for the inaugural event in 2007; the souvenir program introduces the new Matadors to the campus symbols and traditions; though attendance at the Convocation is “strongly encouraged” and promoted throughout Orientation, the collaboration with University Housing and inclusion in the syllabus and assignments for the university 100 program serve as strong incentives for attendance; the University’s Intercollegiate Athletes have also made an annual commitment to attend for their personal experience and to promote attendance at athletic events; when possible, the keynote speaker is also asked to provide an informal discussion for faculty at 4:00 pm and to sign copies of their book at the reception.
Faculty & Staff Participation Information
What is Convocation?
This tradition convenes the freshman class to welcome them as participants in our campus community and to inspire them with excitement for learning in a formal ceremony marking the beginning of their CSUN academic journey. The first CSUN Convocation was held September 2007.
Who is invited?
All campus faculty, administration, staff as well as new and continuing students are invited to the Convocation to help welcome the new freshman class and to enjoy the program.
Where and when is it?
The Convocation will be held on the Lawn of the OviattLibrary with the formal program beginning at 6:00 pm. Freshman students and faculty/staff who wish to walk in with them will be asked to assemble in the Matador Square beginning at 5:30. Other faculty, staff and students may assemble on the Sierra Quad prior to 6:00pm and take a seat as available after the freshman processional is completed.
Who is speaking? The University President Dianne Harrison will preside at this event and will present the 2nd annual Dianne Harrison Leadership Award winner. The keynote speaker this year will be Drew Magary, author of “The Postmortal”, the freshman common reading for 2014-15. Also, Outstanding Graduting Senior Award winner 2014 Harmanpreet Panesar will be this year's student speaker.
Why a convocation for CSUN? The Convocation offers faculty and students the opportunity to link classroom learning and out-of-classroom learning. It provides a powerful message of encouragement for the success of each student. It gathers together the whole campus to celebrate these newest Matadors.
How long is the program? The formal program will end at approximately 7:15 pm with a reception to follow on the Oviatt Library Patio. All are welcome to the reception as well. Take this opportunity to meet the new class of Matadors!
Updated Information will continue to placed on this website as it becomes available. Ideas for further academic integration of the program and its content can be shared with Cheryl Spector, Director, Academic First Year Experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org x3932. To learn more about the Freshman Common Reading for the upcoming year, go to http://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/academic-first-year-experiences/common-read
Check out reasons to attend the Freshman Convocation here: http://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/academic-first-year-experiences/ten-reasons-attend-freshman-convocation
Past Freshman Convocations
2013 Freshman Convocation
Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn; reception to follow - food and giveaways
Meet at Matador Square beginning at 5 p.m.
Keynote Speaker - Edward Humes
Author of “Garbology,” the Freshman Common Reading for 2013
Video: 2013 Freshman Convocation
2012 Freshman Convocation
Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Chitra Divakaruni
Author "One Amazing Thing," the Freshman Common Reading
Video: 2012 Freshman Convocation
2011 Freshman Convocation
Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011
6:00pm - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Jeannette Walls
Author of "The Glass Castle" – the Freshman Common Reading for 2011-2012
2010 Freshman Convocation
Thursday, Sep. 2, 2010
6:00pm - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Holly Robinson Peete
Actress, Author, Activist & Philantropist
2009 Freshman Convocation
Thursday, Sep. 3, 2009
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Steve Lopez
Author of "The Soloist," the Freshman Common Reading for 2009-2010
2008 Freshman Convocation
Thursday, Sep. 4, 2008
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Barbara Ehrenreich
Author of "Nickel and Dimed"
Alma Mater Music
Hail to the Matadors
By Richard Kaufman
Hail to all the Matadors
And to our school so dear.
As we move along the road of life,
let us keep from doubt or fear,
For the knowledge which we find here,
for all who urge us on.
The spirit of the red and white
Will brighten every dawn.
Where the sun is shining
And where truth leaves an open door,
to honor Strong and Courage Tall
We hail our Matador!
You may listen or download the MP3 file below:
To download the MP3 to your computer, right click on the following link, CSUN Alma Mater Music, and choose "save link as" to save to your computer.
Freshman Common Reading
CSUN's 2014-2015 Freshman Common Reading is The Postmortal: A Novel by Drew Magary. Written in the form of blog posts, The Postmortal tells the story of John Farrell beginning in the year 2019 when he decides to take the newly discovered "cure," a form of gene therapy that stops the aging process. As the cure becomes widely available, enormous social changes sweep across the globe. The book raises moral and ethical questions about overpopulation, mortality, the environment, families, birth, marriage, death, interpersonal relationships, income inequality, and the role of government in the lives of the governed.
As a new freshman, you are invited to read the book and to discuss it as part of a campus-wide community of readers. If you are enrolled in UNIV 100 for fall 2014, you will have the opportunity to read The Postmortal as part of the course. But whether you're taking UNIV 100 or not, reflecting about a book in this way places academic engagement—teaching and learning—at the very center of the community that you are about to join. The Common Reading allows us all to think, talk, and learn together across and beyond the boundaries of any single classroom.
Drew Magary (the author of The Postmortal) will be the keynote speaker on September 4, 2014, at Freshman Convocation. Read this book; talk about it with other students; and discuss it with faculty, with staff, with administrators, with friends, and even (who knows?) with your family.