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Thursday, December 2, 2021

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Randy Timm, dean of students and assistant vice president for Student Affairs at the 2018 New Student and Family Convocation. Randy Timm, dean of students and assistant vice president for Student Affairs at the 2018 New Student and Family Convocation.
 


New Beginnings

New Student and Family Convocation is set for Aug. 24 at Viejas Arena.
By Aaron Burgin
 

Every end has a beginning.

At San Diego State University, the end is commencement and the walk across the stage in front of family, friends and a packed house at Viejas Arena -- which is precisely where the story also begins for new students.

New Student and Family Convocation marks the official start of the Aztec experience and, in its 17th installment, has become one of SDSU’s most revered traditions.

This year’s installment takes place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 24 at Viejas Arena for freshmen and transfer students and their families. 

“Convocation is a ceremonial point in time when new students are formally presented by their parents and welcomed into the Aztec family. It’s a handoff from parents to their student’s college dean,” said Randy Timm, dean of students and assistant vice president for Student Affairs. He will serve as the master of ceremonies for New Student and Family Convocation.

“This ritual marks an important change in our students’ lives,” Timm said. 

New Student and Family Convocation begins with the Band Run at 8:30 a.m. During the pre-Convocation ceremony, the SDSU marching band and cheerleaders lead students and families through the heart of campus to Viejas Arena. 

The ceremony has the look and feel of Commencement exercises. A capacity crowd of freshmen and transfer students and their families pack Viejas, where faculty, current students and administrators will officially welcome them to the SDSU family. The event begins with a processional of the university’s top officials in their full regalia. Last year, nearly 12,000 new students and their families attended.

New students become immersed in some of the university’s most beloved traditions, such as the SDSU Fight Song, the Alma Mater and the Mexica Tiahui Aztec Declaration.

New parents also enter the SDSU family, receiving special pins specifically for parents. Parents who have attended previous New Student and Family Convocations call the ceremony “inspirational, emotional, exciting” and a necessary part of the new-student process. 

This year’s New Student and Family Convocation will begin with Kumeyaay bird singers giving a traditional blessing to all in attendance and will feature remarks by SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Christy Samarkos.

New Provost and Senior Vice President Salvador Hector Ochoa will present the students to their college deans. Associated Students President Christian Onwuka will lead a special pinning ceremony for students, while Aztec Parents Advisory Board member Christina Checel will lead the parents’ pinning ceremony.

New Student and Family Convocation is one of the many special events for new students during Welcome Week, which is a series of SDSU-sponsored events aimed at integrating freshmen and transfer students into the campus culture.

For more on New Student and Family Convocation, go to http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/convocation/Default.aspx

For more on Welcome Week, go online to http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/welcomeweek/#