July 17, 2019 | 78° F

Rutgers celebrates first-year students at convocation

Photo by Yingjie Hu |

Rutgers students and presenters for the 2014 convocation ceremony gathered at the High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday to welcome incoming students and celebrate Rutgers’ entry into the Big Ten. More than 6,400 students enrolled at Rutgers-New Brunswick campus this year.

The class of 2018 donned Rutgers red this past Saturday and celebrated Rutgers’ entrance into the Big Ten at the convocation ceremony, the annual celebration welcoming new students to the University.

Courtney McAnuff, vice president of Enrollment Management, said more than 6,400 first-years are enrolled at the New Brunswick campus, including 2,600 transfer students. This class’s SAT scores were a record high.

Richard Edwards, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and chancellor of the New Brunswick Campus, encouraged students to take advantage of all Rutgers has to offer and wished the students good luck in their academic career. 

The Rutgers Glee Club performed an a cappella version of the Rutgers fight song, “The Bells Must Ring.” 

William Rodgers III, chief economist at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, praised Rutgers’ accomplishments in research. 

Rodgers, professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, urged new students to continue making Rutgers a leader in the research community.

In addressing the class of 2018, Kristine Baffo, president of the Rutgers University Student Assembly, recalled her first year at Rutgers. 

“One of my biggest fears was the Rutgers bus,” she joked. 

She explained how she conquered her fears and made the best of her first year. 

Before the post-convocation carnival-themed barbeque, the formal convocation ended with the Kirkpatrick Choir singing the Rutgers Alma Mater. The first-year students were able to sing along as the words appeared on the jumbotron. 

The speakers explained the importance of honoring the incoming students, adding that the excitement and spirit of the incoming class is pivotal to the success of the school.

Imani Sevng, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student hoping to major in communication, said she wants to be in a play this year. 

“I am really excited to be here,” Sevng said. “The life of the campus is what drew me in.”

Jacob Heifetz-Licht, a Rutgers Business School first-year, said he wants to meet new people. When asked if he had anything on his first-year bucket list, he admitted that he wants to throw a DJ party. 

School of Arts and Sciences first-year student Ravina Jani said she is looking forward to Rutgers University Dance Marathon.

“I really hope to be a part of Dance Marathon. I have heard so much about it,” she said. “That is really something that I want to do.” 

Sharifyah Avent, also a School of Arts and Sciences first year, hopes to join a team this year. 

“I came to Rutgers because it is a big enough school that has a diverse community,” she said. “It is also close enough to home.”

Jillian Pastor

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