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2018 Suffolk University Convocation

Since its reconstruction from a theater to a church in 1827, Tremont Temple has had long and illustrious history in Boston, including the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Boston in 1863, a reading from Charles Dickens in 1867, and on Tuesday September 4, 2018, Suffolk University held its 21st annual Convocation to welcome the class of 2022.

After the Class of 2022 entered the historic hall, professors and administrative faculty passed through the aisle, adorned in their graduation attire. 

Whereas the graduation ceremony marks the end of one’s time at a learning institution, convocation marks the beginning of the college experience for the hundreds of students entering Suffolk University.

The ceremony was led by Acting Provost Sebastian Royo, a staple in the Suffolk community for many years. First to speak was President Marisa Kelly.

Kelly began her speech by listing some of the many accomplishments the incoming class has to boast, including singing the National Anthem at Fenway Park, being social media managers, business owners, and even competing as a dog sled racer.  These students, many of whom come from not only all over the United States, but also the globe, add to the ever-expanding diverse culture at Suffolk University.

To close her speech, Kelly emphasized just how influential the college process can be on a young adult.

“This is a place where lives and trajectories are changed… Today your Suffolk experience officially begins.”

Following Kelly, Associate Professor of Marketing Pelin Becin shared her story on how she went from a math major in Istanbul to a professor in Boston.

After graduating undergrad, Becin couldn’t find a job.  She was well-qualified for all she applied to, but never saw a job offer.  Finally, she asked an employer why she wasn’t chosen for the position, to which the employer responded,

“You’re not culturally a good fit.”

After facing rejection after rejection, Becin strolled onto campus and reflected on everything that had happened.  She noticed a sign on a pine tree advertising a job for math majors, and on that same day that she was rejected, she was accepted. 

“I was not a fit in the morning and I became a fit in the afternoon.”

She began working at an advertising company, which brought her to the States for her marketing degree. She spent time all over the country until she made her way to Boston and to Suffolk University. 

What Becin hoped to impart on the incoming class was that it’s okay to have plans not go as intended, because they may end up being even better than imagined.  Failure is not the lack of success, but the opportunity to grow, learn, and advance yourself, something incoming freshmen may desperately need to hear.

The final speaker of the ceremony was Student Government Association President Morgan Robb.  Starting her senior year this fall, she reminisced about her decision to apply to and attend Suffolk University just 4 years ago.

“I wanted to be a name, not a number,” Robb said, as she emphasized all the amazing opportunities Suffolk has given her and encouraged the new students to be aware of all that can be offered to them.

Closing her address, she left the incoming class with a piece of advice that will resonate within them for the next years of their education and for the rest of their lives.

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

The Suffolk Voice would like to welcome the Class of 2022 to Boston, to campus, and to the best years of school one will ever have.  Cheers, and good luck!

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