CLEMSON — Littlejohn Coliseum was filled with first-year, transfer and graduate students; university faculty and staff; and community members Monday morning  to officially start the new academic year. It is the first time all incoming students were brought together for the annual Victor Hurst Convocation.

Freshman and transfer students joined faculty, staff and guests at the Victor Hurst Convocation.

Freshman and transfer students joined faculty, staff and guests at the Victor Hurst Convocation.
Image Credit: Ashley Jones / Clemson University

President James P. Clements addressed the crowd, welcoming all to the Clemson family. “Your journey as a Clemson student really beings right here, right now,” he said.

The president also bestowed words of wisdom to the class.

“To be successful in life, it really does take teamwork,” he said. “I would like to share a few tips with you that are very simple: Go to class! Remember why you are here and that is to get a world-class education. Get to know your professors. They are here for you and they care about you. If you need help – ask for it. Get involved with activities on campus. Seek out opportunities to get to know people who are from different backgrounds. Manage your time wisely. And please remember to stay in touch with your parents and family members back home. I am sure they miss you already.”

Brian O’Rourke, vice president for development and alumni relations, introduced Clemson’s Endowed Chair recipients: Robert Fritz Baldwin, the Margaret H. Lloyd Endowed Chair in Urban Ecology and Restoration; Johan H. Enslin, the Duke Energy Endowed Chair in Smart Grid Technology; Venkat Narayan Krovi, the Michelin Endowed Chair in Vehicle Automation; Laine Mears, the BMW Smart State Chair in Automotive Manufacturing; and Zeki Simsek, the Lawrence M. Gressette Jr. Endowed Chair in Business Strategy and Planning.

“The five scholars we honor today are five of the best minds in academia,” O’Rourke said.

John Griffin, associate provost and dean of Undergraduate Studies, introduced keynote speaker and broadcast journalist, Jay Allison. A regular contributor to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” Allison co-edited “This I Believe,” the book selected for Clemson’s Common Reading Program for freshmen and transfer students.

Hear Allison’s remarks and see the rest of convocation activities online here.