>> Band Leader: Thousand Dances, ready? 1, 2,1, 2, 3, 4!
DR. HAEFNER: Good afternoon!
I am Dr. Jeremy Haefner, RIT's Provost and Senior Vice
President for Academic Affairs.
I am happy to welcome everyone to this Convocation for New
Students and Families, especially you new students, our
special guests of honor.
We are delighted that you have chosen RIT for your journey into
We have chosen to begin your journey with this formal
ceremony which features several components of a vibrant academic
community such as academic regalia, our mace, and a formal
procession/recession, to name a few.
And what a journey it will be!
Filled with friends, faculty, frenetic times, and folly a
fantastic intellectual adventure.
So let's get started.
Please stand for the National Anthem led by Eight Beat
Measure, one of our many student music groups, and Deaf sign
performers Nicole Hood, Timothy Holmes and Nicholas Shaw.
And Jamal Jones.
say, can you see, by the dawn's early light What so proudly we
hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous
fight, O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave
proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave O'er the land of
the free and the home of the brave?
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Please be seated.
Wow! Was that great or what!
Thanks again to the members of Eight Beat Measure, Nicole,
Timothy, Nicholas, and Jamal.
I also want to acknowledge our bagpipers and drummers Lex
Sleeman, who doubles here at RIT as associate director for
intercollegian athletics and NCAA Compliance, and his
colleagues, members of the Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes
and Drums, Feadan Or and the RIT Bagpipe Club.
Let's give them all a round of applause for RIT!
[Applause] Now, I am sure you noticed that boisterous group of
people greeting students as they entered the field house.
They are faculty and staff, many of whom are also RIT alums, who
gathered to welcome you all as the newest members of the RIT
family and to express how much they look forward to working
To all the participants of the Tiger Walk, thank you for that
[APPLAUSE] RIT is the proud home of the National Technical
Institute for the Deaf, known on campus as NTID, one of only two
institutions of higher education in the United States funded by
the federal government for the education of deaf and
hard of hearing students.
NTID, one of our nine colleges, supports 8.8% of our student
body, including several hundred who attend classes throughout
We appreciate the fact that this ceremony will be enriched both
through real time captioning and by the presence and expertise of
our professional Sign Language interpreters.
We thank the interpreters and the real time captionist for
their dedication to their important work.
Let's give them a round of applause.
[Applause] I would like to acknowledge special guests and
members of the platform party who join with us to celebrate
Members of the RIT Board of Trustees provide their vision
and expertise in leading RIT.
Please join me in thanking them for their efforts.
And for attending today's ceremony.
[Applause.] Next I ask that Paul Tymann, who led this
afternoon's procession carrying the mace, Dr. Hector Flores, Dr.
Nabil Nasr, and Mr. Kevin McDonald to please stand.
Professor Tymann is chair of the computer science department in
the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information
Sciences and chair of the Academic Senate, representing
the RIT faculty.
Dr. Nasr is assistant provost and director of the Golisano
Institute of Sustainability and Mr. McDonald serves as our vice
president and associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion.
[Applause] Many parents and other family members met our
outstanding deans in college meetings earlier today.
I am proud to take this opportunity to introduce them to
you again and for the first time, to our students.
Deans, please stand when I call your name and remain standing
until all have been introduced; members of the audience, please
hold your applause until that time.
Dr. H. Fred Walker, dean, College of Applied Science and
Technology; Dr. DT Ogilvie, Dean, E.
Philip Saunders College of Business, just starting her
first year with us; Dr. Andrew Sears, Dean, B.
Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information
Sciences; Dr. Harvey Palmer, Dean, Kate Gleason College of
Engineering; Dr. Daniel Ornt, vice president of the Institute
of Health Sciences and Technology and dean of our
newest college, the College of Health Sciences and Technology;
Dr. Lorraine Justice, dean, College of Imaging Arts and
Sciences; Dr. James Winebrake, Dean, College of Liberal Arts;
Professor Mary Boyd, interim director, Center for
Multidisciplinary Studies; Dr. Gerard Buckley, president,
National Technical Institute for the Deaf and vice president and
dean, RIT; and Dr. Sophia Maggelakis, Dean, College of
Let's give them a round of applause.
[Applause] Please be seated.
We continue our tradition of the formal signing by the
incoming class of the 'matricula' essentially the
book of names of students.
Students, you'll be able to sign these matricula books throughout
They will then be displayed in the Wallace Center Our library,
and available four or five years from now for you to review at
I encourage all students to become a part of RIT history.
As we continue our journey together, you will come to
understand that we take our role and responsibility for the
academic, intellectual, personal and class of 2016 (OR 2017) very
In other words, 'you are in good hands'.
Actually, you have already been in good hands through the
auspices of our crackerjack Enrollment Management and Career
Dr. James Miller, senior vice president for EMCS, is here on
stage Jim, will you please stand?
I would like to acknowledge Jim and his staff who worked
tirelessly to bring all of you here approximately 2800 of you
from every state in the nation and 32 countries worldwide.
Through their efforts, you begin your journey with students who,
like you, are bright, ambitious and eager to learn; each of you
with a wealth of experiences and talent to enrich our community.
Jim, the entire university appreciates the efforts that you
and your staff put forth in bringing this exceptional class
It is my great pleasure and anticipation that I formally
welcome and accept this incoming class of 2012.
[APPLAUSE] NOW, YOU MAY HAVE started out in the good hands of
our Enrollment Management and Career Services staff, and you
will continue to be in good hands with the staff from
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Mary Beth Cooper, senior vice
president for Student affairs.
[Applause] DR. COOPER: Good afternoon students, family,
My name is Dr. Mary Beth Cooper and I am the Senior Vice
President for Student affairs.
What that means is that I'm responsible for life outside the
classroom with a whole bunch of people, but I'm also responsible
for two days of weather, yesterday, move in day, not bad!
I said it first!
And usually graduation.
All of the days in between belong to the provost.
But before I begin my formal comments, I would like to take
the opportunity to thank all of the student leaders who have
made today possible.
Without these upper class students, today would not have
gone as smoothly, nor yesterday.
They are our orientation leaders, our lead O.A.s,
resident advisors and our pals.
Please stand and let's give them a warm round of applause.
[Applause] Many of I have heard the term that we talk about RIT
as right brain and left brain and the intersection between the
I would like to suggest to you that these student leaders are
the heart of RIT.
I would like to recognize the orientation staff Shawna Lusk,
Amanda Metzger and Hannah Fessler I know you agree they
did a great job.
Life outside the classroom.
¦ >>Battaglia: Tigers in front
Mitchell Oh And Mitchell has won it in overtime!
(Cheers) (Cheers) (Yelling) >>The best thing about Winter?
>>Freezefest! >>Get rowdy son
>>Freezefest is awesome I love Skiing.
>>Battaglia: Tigers out in front.
Is it gonna count? Yes!
Count it Right at the buzzer!
And the RIT Tigers are the Regular season champions Of the
ECAC West (Cheers) (Horn blows) (Cheers) ¦ (Cheers) (Cheers)
So you see, we study really hard ear at RIT but we know how to
have a good time, right?
So now let me introduce you to the person who is going to be
responsible for next year's video, if you must.
He is one of my bosses and your student government president,
Mr. Taylor Deer.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] TAYLOR DEER: Starting today, you will
be given one of the greatest opportunities you will ever have
throughout your life.
Starting today, you have the world at your fingertips.
The world is yours, because today we are here to welcome you
into our RIT family.
While you are here you will be given every chance and every
resource to pursue your dreams and become the person you have
always wanted to become.
For the first time ever, YOU are the one who is going to be
in control of your own destiny.
At RIT opportunities will present themselves to you on a
daily basis that will impact you for the rest of your life.
There will be so many opportunities that at times it
can become Overwhelming.
This will only be true if you know what an opportunity looks
like, because there are some of you out there that don't know
what an opportunity looks like.
Some wouldn't know an opportunity if it came up and
hit you on the head because some opportunities don't look like
you would imagine them to.
There is not going to be some magic beam of light where a
voice coming down and telling you that the opportunity is
In actuality, opportunities disguise themselves as hard
Opportunities cover themselves with the perception that they
Some opportunities carry around a big sign with them that says
don't worry about this.
Someone else will take care of it, and it's because of this
that most people let opportunities pass.
They never see them.
EVERYONE wants more opportunities, I.
That's not the issue and at RIT that is not the issue.
Your perception of what an opportunity really is, that's
What some people see an opportunity but it looks like
work, they let it go.
They let someone else handle it.
They let the opportunity fly by.
Words fill their head with, whatever, or I can't do that.
These are the people that we have walking around campus
saying that nothing ever changes for them.
It's because even if they do see an opportunity, it will be their
choice to let it go because it involves more work that they
don't want to do.
It is the people that are willingly, that willingly make
the choice to take these opportunities even though it
takes hard work and dedication that will succeed here at RIT.
If I want you to hear one element of my speech today, it's
None of us in this room will force you to take these
No one up here or out there is going to force you to become the
best you can be.
And no one up here or out there is going to make you unlock your
For some of you, this is going to be your biggest challenge.
When an opportunity comes and knocks on your door, some of you
will make the choice to stay put because no one is telling you to
get up out of your chair anymore.
Some of you, on the other hand, will bounce up out of the chair
and greet that opportunity at the steps before it has a chance
These people are the ones that will be successful at RIT.
It is now your choice whether or not to answer the call once you
recognize an opportunity.
And that's why it's called an opportunity because you have to
make that choice before it gets away.
The sooner you understand this, the sooner you will really start
reaping the benefits of college life and you will begin to see
yourself grow from each opportunity that you seize.
So I'm going to leave you with a question.
One that you can only answer or yourself.
Everything has been late out for you.
You now have the power to change the world as we know it.
Your dreams and your opportunities are out there
waiting for you, and at RIT we give you everything you need to
take advantage of each opportunity.
Starting now, there is no excuse for you not to begin changing
your life one opportunity at a time.
It's all on you now.
Now, here is my question, are you the person that will leave
this room wondering if your dream will ever happen?
Or are you the person that leaves this building knowing
that you are going to be the one to make the choice to take this
opportunity for the next five years and make it happen!
[Applause] DR. HAEFNER: Thank you, Taylor!
I look forward to working with you as you begin your tenure as
Student Government president!
It is one of the three governance groups here at RIT
and they make an impact and difference so we look forward to
working with you.
As Taylor just just talked about, there are scores of
opportunities available to you at RIT.
The greatest opportunity ahead of you is the teaching and
learning that is RIT's hallmark.
RIT is blessed with an outstanding faculty dedicated
and committed to help you take full advantage of that
opportunity by making sure that the education you receive is
rigorous, cutting edge, personal, relevant, and second
to no other university experience.
Also dedicated to making sure you are in good hands, the
faculty care deeply about you and your intellectual growth;
they will challenge you academically to make sure that
Your obligation is to accept this challenge; to be engaged,
and in fact to challenge them as well.
But do so respectfully and thoughtfully because that is how
they will treat you.
Now, what specifically can you expect from your educational
Here to help answer this question is Dr. Neil Hair,
associate professor in the E.
Philip Saunders College of Business.
Last spring, he was awarded RIT's most coveted teaching
award, the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Neil Hair who will pump you up
for the academic journey ahead of you.
[Applause] >> NEIL HAIR: The provost sends
me an email saying hey, how do you feel about talking to
incoming students and their families.
I said that sounds like a bit of a lot.
I didn't realize he meant all of them.
So here I am.
I have four things I want to talk to you about, and four
things that really illustrate why this is such a great place.
And congratulations, by the way, you have just successfully
answered one of life's most important questions, where am I
going to go to university.
You chose the right answer, which is RIT.
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Four things, and there will be a test
at the end.
Number one, I'm going to talk to you about academic excellence.
Number two, I'm going to talk to you about the importance of life
outside of the classroom.
Number three, I'm going to talk to you about RIT's unsung hero.
And number four, we will talk about how all of this comes
together to make you super sexy at the end of your four, five,
or three year experience so that you too have a fake British
accent like mine.
Academic excellence, this place has stolen me twice from Oxford
in the United Kingdom.
We have internationally acclaimed colleges, make no
We punch a lot higher than our weight.
You might be lucky enough to sit across perfect someone like my
best friend, Dr. Victor Perotti, you might be very fortunate to
be a member of the college of imaging arts and sciences where
you will actually rub shoulders with one of my other best
friends, Deb Kingsbury.
Debby, I know you are out there.
I love you.
Thank you for everything you do for us.
Faculty experts in the field, people that know how to do the
things they tell you about, how to get the job done so that you
will be more prepared when you start that job, four, five, or
three years from now on day one.
We are practitioners and we are good at what we do.
We are world class researchers.
We know what we are talking about, and you are going to get
a state of the art education.
We use state of the art delivery systems, no one in our classroom
outside of the classroom are going to tell you to put away
internet connects devices.
You can access this stuff through just about every blended
format known to man.
There is a T in RIT, and that is, of course, technology.
We will show you how to use it effectively.
You will get an applied, rigorous and more importantly
than anything else, a memorable experience.
Parents in the room, that moment when you put your son or
daughter, I want you to take a photograph, because four years
from now, they will look pretty different and they will know
what they are doing, and they are going to get a job just like
the rest of our graduating students, somewhere in the
region of 95% of our students get jobs within the first couple
That is the gift RIT's education will give to you.
You have a bright future!
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] But wait!
There is more.
Sorry, I'm a marketer.
Remember, there is a life outside of the classroom, and
it's very important.
You are going to be molded in your experience with us.
The grades are really important, I'm not going to lie to you.
It gets you the first job, it gets you into those interviews
but you have a wonderful opportunity as a young, bright,
and I know you are bright because we don't just let
I want you to take the life opportunities that you will find
at RIT very seriously.
You have a chance to reinvent yourself here, be that person
you want to be or just enhance yourself.
The richness of life that's RIT offers, mean, we have a juggling
club, come on, a juggling club of all things.
We have Olympic training facilities out there.
We have a phenomenal world class gym facility, you will be
different physically and emotionally at the end of this
We also, believe it or not, are home to one of the world's great
We have more things to do on weekends than you can shake a
stick at and that includes a fantastic wine region when you
are 21, not before, no, no, no!
There is even more!
Call in the next half hour, the first 180,000 lucky network
members, that's what you are, by the way, you are joining an
The network is as far as I'm concern the unsung heroes.
10, 20, 30 years from now when you forget the tools you have
learned from your experience, you will still be in touch with
those wonderful set of individuals that's you went to
college with, each other, your faculty, your friend, those
getting out of RIT and those getting in.
Look around, you are bright, creative intelligent people.
Your network will give you a high level of competition that
will throw other people out of the water at the point of your
graduation, I believe it.
I know it.
I have seen it.
Your ability to solve a problem, 9:00 Monday morning in that new
job four years from now.
You haven't got a clue how are going to solve it so you get in
touch with your network and you have a solution from an RIT alum
or friend that you met, one of those geeks that you knew at
You have an answer in less than two minutes.
That makes you incredibly competitive.
That is the key differentiating factor of RIT.
You will get a really good education from us, but you
become part of one hell of a network.
So don't just focus on the grades.
They are important.
Reach out to professors and get to know us.
We want you to do well, and I want you to engage with your
Engage the geeks, the anthropologists, those
videographers, artists, designers, inventors,
entrepreneurs, and also even those marketers, people like my
You can even interact with people like the furries, you
have met rich already, and also the zombies.
Good luck with that!
So thinking about closing statements, I want you to take
this notion of your network more seriously than anything else
because it's the ultimate thing that will give you this unique
category of one that is viewed as an individual competing in
the afterlife post graduation.
Your network won't let you down.
That includes us as faculty, that includes staff, that
includes administrators and that includes yourselves, a
The statistics suggest that upon graduation you will have built a
network on Facebook or linked in of over a thousand individuals.
Imagine the competitive advantage that gives you.
I didn't have that at your stage.
This is a phenomenal time to be young.
It's a phenomenal time to be here at RIT.
A final comment, a RIT will for you, some of you may have
noticed that I have introduced four Americans and they are on
vacation too, Winston Churchill who has been determined to be
the greatest Brit of all time.
Sir Winston died seven years before I was born.
How did I do that?
If one boring faculty member can put you in touch with someone as
great as that, imagine what the rest of the faculty can do as
So here is to you.
YO L O!
Make every second count!
Welcome to RIT, welcome to the family!
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Well, Dr. Hair, thank you very much.
You certainly have given us lots to think about, something to
chuckle at and we all start this journey together.
Over the past couple of years we have developed a series of short
videos focused on the amazing relationship that develops
between faculty and students and I think you are beginning to see
that the faculty are in fact very, very approachable.
I am pleased and proud to share with you the latest in the
series, now, pay special attention because you should
recognize someone in this video.
[Music] Hey I'm Taylor.
I'm from Buffalo, NY.
When I worked on construction Sites with my Dad I was really
interested in The interactions between him and his workers And
how they got their job done.
I love figuring things out and making processes more efficient.
So, I thought.
Civil Engineering would be a good fit for me but after taking
A business class, I realized I could focus on the things I
really liked; creating efficiency and understanding
Now I'm a Business Management major here at RIT.
Business Management gives you the tools you need to become an
It teaches you how organizations work at every level and how to
develop creative solutions and make decisions to help companies
Delmonize Smith was my professor for Organizational
Behavior And Leadership.
Del: As we learn about Organizational behavior.
We're really focused on how organizations can motivate their
people so they can improve performance and become more
Taylor: Del teaches In an extraordinary way that makes
complex concepts make complete sense.
I absorbed it like a sponge and I absolutely loved it.
My favorite project was to observe an organization's
and see how people interacted.
Basically I used the concepts.
To analyze the group and recommend how they could
increase their productivity.
It's like now I have this decoder for why people act
differently In certain situations.
I think this is awesome because I can use it In my position In
It lets me look at how we all work together and where we can
Influential professors like Del Have given me the tools I need
To hone my leadership skills.
I have a lot more confidence in myself so I can take on new
responsibilities and help motivate and inspire others.
This will catapult me into the real world,
where I can create healthy work environments within companies
And one day my own business.
[Music] [APPLAUSE] >> That's exactly what we want
you to do is go and talk to your faculty, get to know them,
understand what has driven them, learn from them as well.
So thanks to the producer, his student workers and the Wallace
center for creating those wonderful videos.
And now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce RIT's
president Dr. William W. Destler.
He will be followed by Tanner Newcomb and Brian Delaney who
will let you know what comes next and then close out this
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Destler to the podium.
>> PRESIDENT DESTLER: Welcome to RIT.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome students both new and
returning to RIT.
I wish them luck on their educational journey.
Only five years ago I was a first year tiger myself, and I
was as excited to begin the academic year as any freshman
And like all of you, I was looking forward to immersing
myself in this extraordinary campus and learning about all
that RIT has to offer.
What I found in my first five years here is that RIT is truly
a category of one university.
Where else can you find students on the same campus studying
medical photography and engineering?
Where else can you find students who are studying business and
furniture design working side by side?
Where else can you find deaf students and hearing students
working together on team projects?
It is this unusual combination of right brainers and left
brainers working together that makes RIT a very special place.
And it is the presence on our campus of the National Technical
Institute for the Deaf that makes RIT absolutely unique.
This kind of cultural and intellectual diversity is
available only here, and it provides an extraordinary
outside the classroom educational opportunity to all
How much you benefit from it is really up to you.
I encourage all of you to first find your footing in your
academic studies and then branch outward into the various
opportunities for campus engagement that are available to
It is this opportunity to grow intellectually in areas inside
and outside of your major that makes an RIT experience so
Now, we in academia have an opportunity to serve as examples
in how to engage in civil discourse in an increasingly
Many of us are dismayed at the extent to which intelligent
discussions on complex issues can no longer be held out the
kind of hysterical acrimony that makes compromise impossible.
Let us all remember that colleges and universities of all
organizations must remain forms for open and respected
discussion of controversial issues.
We are all part of a learning community, and much of our
learning comes from each other.
Respect for the opinions of others, even when we strongly
disagree with them must be a cornerstone of our campus
One cautionary note, however, the United States is air
wonderful country and one of the
best things about this nation is the extent to which you can
always start over if you fail.
But regaining your personal reputation for honesty and
integrity is not so easy.
So avoid the temptation to cheat or plagiarize others work as you
pursue your studies.
This is the place where you begin to build your reputation
for honesty and personal integrity that you will carry
the rest of your lives.
You will have other important decisions to make as well.
Now, that you are on your own your choices as to the use of
alcohol and drugs will be among them.
And I encourage you to steer way from illegal substances of any
You will also be in a position to observe friends who may
struggle with depression or show worrisome changes in behavior,
and I encourage you to contact your resident assistant or the
RIT counseling center in such cases.
We are all members of the RIT family, and we all need to work
together if our community is to flourish as a community of
learning and opportunity for all.
The faculty and staff at RIT are here to support you on this
journey, and I encourage you to take advantage of all they have
to offer you.
Also please feel free to contact me should you feel that there
are ways we may serve you better.
I will look forward to proudly watching your progress and
celebrating your achievements.
And finally, go tigers!
[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] >> Hello and welcome.
My name is Garrett Kimble and I'm from Toledo, Ohio, parents
and families thank you for being here to support your students.
We were once in their shoes and we have used our experience to
plan all year what we hope is an awesome welcome.
We hope that you found the day to be helpful and informative.
Each of you should have received your family handbook and
calendar when you checked in.
Be sure to use it as a resource throughout the upcoming year.
>> Hello, I'm Charlotte McGrath, and I'm from Los Angeles,
Our student program which began this morning and continues
through Sunday is filled with presentations and events to
assist students in their academic and social transition
to the RIT community.
The programs include academic advising and academic day,
college life 101, living and learning together, we are RIT!
Spirit, the tiger kickoff which highlights RIT athletics.
A picnic and carnival for all new students, lighting the way,
a welcoming ceremony for RIT women, a club and organization
fair and shuttles to local shopping areas.
Orientation activities also include free entertainment each
night and will conclude with a bang on Sunday with our annual
All of these activities will enable your student to meet and
connect with other new and returning students and prepare
them to start classes on Monday.
>> Hello, I'm Tanner Newcomb, I'm from Geneva, New York,
throughout orientation students will be in small groups and led
by an orientation assistant.
The orientation assistants are well trained upper class
students whose primary responsibilities are to assist
new students in their adjustment to RIT.
>> Hello, I'm Brian Delaney, and I'm from Ohio.
When you return home, please take a few minutes to complete
our on line family program evaluation.
Your feedback really is important to future orientation
We are glad you are here today.
To conclude the convocation for new students and families,
please stand for the RIT alma mater as printed on the inside
cover of your program and led by Proof and Purchase,
RIT's first alcapella group and deaf sign performers, Nicole
Hood, Timothy Holmes, Nicholas Shaw and Jamal Jones.
The platform party will recess down the center aisle.
Please remain seated until they have reached the back of the
Thank you again for joining us here today!
[APPLAUSE] Hail, RIT!
Together stand; Creating good with mind and hand; Inspired to
learn 'till life is done as teachers, learners, all are one!
With pride in our diversity, a spirit of
community we are the men, the women of the future here, at
From RIT, our course is set: we celebrate a promise kept: a life
of living you have taught, let new horizons now be sought!