CSUN Freshmen to Unite and Celebrate Convocation

CSUN freshmen congregate at the Oviatt Lawn for last year's Freshman Convocation. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

CSUN freshmen congregate at the Oviatt Lawn for last year’s Freshman Convocation. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

Thousands of freshmen will walk in unison to the Oviatt Library Lawn for the first time as a class of California State University, Northridge to attend Freshman Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 15.

The 6 p.m. event, which marks the start of the students’ collegial journey, will include the presentation of the Dianne F. Harrison Award, named for CSUN’s current president, to an outstanding member of last year’s freshman class, and speech by internationally renowned journalist Jon Ronson, author of the freshman common reading book, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.”

University 100 faculty will get to meet with Ronson at a reception before convocation, and the students will have an opportunity to meet with and talk with Ronson at the reception and book signing afterwards, said Patrick Bailey, Director of Student Involvement and Development.

Color image of President Dianne F. Harrison addressing the 2015 Freshman class at CSUN. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

California State University, Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison addresses the freshman class of 2015 at convocation. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

“I really like how the common reading is introduced here,” he said. “I am excited about Jon’s keynote. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen him do and write. I think he will deliver a fun and engaging message. It will provide some added perspective [on the common reading].”

Bailey said Freshman Convocation is one of his favorite events to coordinate because it shows the beginning of the new class’s journey at CSUN.

“I think it’s that symbolic coming together of the class,” he said. “For us, we work on orientation programs almost every day [in the summer]. We see small slices of the [freshman] class, but we never see them all together until this convocation. It is the start of the race in a way. It starts their trajectory towards commencement, which is also held [on the Oviatt Lawn].”