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New Student Convocation

The New Student Convocation is an annual celebration of learning collaboratively planned by Student Affairs and Academic Affairs for the new students entering CSUN each fall. The event serves as a formal welcome extended to the entering class by the President, administration and campus community.  It also connects the concepts of in-classroom and out-of-classroom learning by focusing on themes drawn from the Freshman Common Reading. The New Student Convocation committee typically seeks to invite the book’s author to serve as the keynote speaker.

The New Student Orientation leaders guide the new class on a symbolic journey through Convocation that attempts to unify the class and teach them about the campus symbols and rituals. The student assemble in Matador Square and are led down Matador Walk to the Oviatt Library Lawn by a processional of Associate Deans, faculty and student leaders.  The College Deans and academic executives await the students at the top of the Oviatt Library Grand Staircase. At the end of the program students ascend the steps as a symbolic gesture of their commencement of campus learning.

An outstanding student or recent alumnus is chosen to provide a brief speech of practical advice as part of the Convocation program, which also includes original music, "March of the Matadors," composed for the inaugural event in 2007. Students receive a souvenir program that introduces them as new Matadors to key campus symbols and traditions.  Attendance at Convocation is strongly encouraged and promoted throughout Orientation. Additional incentives are provided by the collaboration with University Housing and with University 100. The University’s Intercollegiate Athletes have also made an annual commitment to participate in the event to show their support and to promote attendance at athletic events. When possible, the keynote speaker is featured at an informal discussion for faculty and staff shortly before the Convocation ceremony, and autographs copies of that year’s book at the reception after the ceremony.

Freshman Common Reading webpage

New Student Convocation 2018

This year's New Student Convocation will take place on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. on the Oviatt Library Lawn and the featured keynote speaker will be Nicole Maines and her father Wayne Maines. Nicole is a trans girl who was featured in the HBO documentary "The Trans List" and is the subject of the book Becoming Nicole by author Amy Ellis Nutt.

Continuing Students

Continuing Students are also welcome to join the fun.  Be sure to arrive at the Oviatt Lawn prior to 6:00 p.m.  Once new freshman and transfer student guests are seated, the remaining chairs will be available for all other guests.  Seating in the immediate area (Oviatt Lawn) may be limited; however, all guests are also welcome to watch from the Sierra Quad Lawn. 

Reception following New Student Convocation: The Convocation Program will end at approximately 7:15 p.m. and will be immediately followed with a reception on the Oviatt Library South Portico.  Refreshments and entertainment will be provided, and all are welcome to attend.

Faculty & Staff Participation Information

Information for Faculty, Staff, and Administrators: Read more and RSVP here

Reception following New Student Convocation: The Convocation Program will end at approximately 7:15 p.m. and will be immediately followed with a reception on the Oviatt Library South Portico.  Refreshments and entertainment will be provided, and all are welcome to attend. 

History

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.

YEARKEYNOTE SPEAKERFRESHMAN COMMON READING BOOK
2007Robert F. Kennedy Jr.The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
2008Barbara EhrenreichNickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
2009Steve LopezThe Soloist by Steve Lopez
2010Holly Robinson-PeeteThe Curious incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
2011Jeannette WallsThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
2012Chitra DivakaruniOne Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni
2013Edward HumesGarbology by Edward Humes
2014Drew MagaryThe Postmortal by Drew Magary
2015David LevithanEvery Day by David Levithan
2016Jon RonsonSo You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
2017Bree NewsomeBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
2018Nicole Maines & Wayne MainesBecoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt

Past New Student Convocations

2017 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Bree Newsome
Video Link: 2017 Freshman Convocation

*this video is not captioned, but will be very soon and we apologize for this inconvenience*

2016 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Jon Ronson
Author of So You've Been Publicly Shamed - the Freshman Common Reading for 2016
Video Link: 2016 Freshman Convocation

2015 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 10, 2015
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - David Levithan
Author of Every Day - the Freshman Common Reading for 2015
Video Link: 2015 Freshman Convocation

2014 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 4, 2014
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Drew Magary
Author of The Postmortal - the Freshman Common Reading for 2014
Video Link: 2014 Freshman Convocation

2013 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Edward Humes
Author of Garbology - the Freshman Common Reading for 2013
Video link: 2013 Freshman Convocation

2012 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Chitra Divakaruni
Author of One Amazing Thing - the Freshman Common Reading for 2012
Video link: 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
Video link: 2011 Freshman Convocation

2010 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 2, 2010
6:00pm - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Holly Robinson Peete
Actress, Author, Activist & Philanthropist
Video: 2010 Freshman Convocation

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
Video link: 2009 Freshman Convocation

2008 Freshman Convocation

Thursday, Sep. 4, 2008
6 p.m. - Oviatt Library lawn
Keynote Speaker - Barbara Ehrenreich
Author of Nickel and Dimed
Video link: 2008 Freshman Convocation

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.

If you cannot see the audio player above, you may need to download it. If you are using Internet Explorer please visit Microsoft. If you are using Firefox or Apple Safari, please visit Quicktime.

Freshman Common Reading

It's official: the 2018-2019 Freshman Common Reading will be Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt. Becoming Nicole is a true story about Nicole Maines, a transgender girl, and her family. 

 

For more information, contact the Office of Student Involvement and Development at (818) 677-4100. Ask to speak to someone regarding the New Student Convocation.

Disclaimer: The New Student Orientation website contains information authorized and available at the time of publication. The content, including dates is subject to change without prior notice or obligation.