LAURINBURG — The 2016-17 academic year has begun at St. Andrews University as the school welcomed its largest first-year class in over a decade as 250 new students from over 15 countries and more than 20 different states attended the university’s opening convocation last week.
“Processing at opening convocation and commencement form bookends to your academic career at St. Andrews,” said St. Andrews President Paul Baldasare. “In the time between those two bookends we’re going to do all that we can as a university committed to teaching and mentoring to help you develop the knowledge, the skills, and the experience that you need in order to make a living after you graduate.”
Darrien Bailey, Student Government Association president, remembers his first days on campus – scrambling to sign forms.
“But through all of these experiences, I soon realized that St. Andrews would be the place to make me the person I was always meant to be,” he said. “This place will change your life.”
Rev. Dr. Tim Verhey, who served as convocation speaker and new dean of students, said he could relate the experience of the new students to his own.
“What am I doing here?” Verhey asked. “This is the question we want you to ask yourselves during your time at St. Andrews. This is the question at the heart of a liberal arts education. This is the question at the heart of life itself.”
Verhey added that as students find out who they are, the experience will bring mixed emotions.
“I am becoming myself and that my friends is exciting. It is terrifying. It is confusing. So get ready with the excitement, the anxiety and the confusion and take comfort because we are doing it together.
“Because you are here, St. Andrews will never be the same. You will never be the same.”
Misty McMillan is director of communications for St. Andrews University