At Opening Convocation, New Students Accept Responsibilities of Honor

Students singing together on the Lawn

Seated on the Lawn facing the University of Virginia’s newly renovated Rotunda, the Class of 2020 joined together for the very first time at Sunday’s Opening Convocation and Honor Induction.

UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan welcomed the first-year and transfer students in attendance and spoke to them about the age-old traditions they would become familiar with as well as the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities they will be a part of throughout their time at the University.

“You will help us launch a new era for the restored Rotunda, and you will help us celebrate the bicentennial of this great university, which has stood for nearly 200 years as a standard of excellence in higher education,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan also drew upon events from the Olympic Games to offer the class an important analogy regarding their duty to create a supportive and respectful University environment.

“If you watched the swimming competition, you may have noticed something curious: at Olympic swim meets, where the very best swimmers from all over the world compete, they still have lifeguards on duty,” Sullivan said. “Like those Olympic athletes, you are some of the best and brightest students from the nation and the world, but you still need to look out for each other. All of you need to serve as unofficial lifeguards for your classmates – always vigilant, always on duty.”

Take a look as the new first-year students officially joined the University community.

Media Contact

Kaylyn Christopher

Office of University Communications