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August 20, 2018

Legendary poet Nikki Giovanni to be keynote speaker at WCU’s New Student Convocation

 Western Carolina University will officially welcome the incoming freshman class and new transfer students at the annual New Student Convocation beginning 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at the Ramsey Regional Activity Center.

The keynote speaker will be acclaimed poet and civil rights activist Nikki Giovanni, a National Book Award finalist and winner of the NAACP Image Award.

The convocation will include a welcome and introductory remarks by WCU Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar and Acting Provost Carol Burton. Deans of the WCU colleges will participate in a candlelighting ceremony with student representatives of each college, and Student Government Association President Matt Opinski will serve as master of ceremonies. The event is open to the public, with parents, community leaders and WCU faculty and staff invited.

Giovanni, a Knoxville, Tennessee, native, is a distinguished professor of English at Virginia Tech. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her poetry album “The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection” and was named one of Oprah Winfrey’s “25 Living Legends.”

“The New Student Convocation is a milestone event, a moment to remember, and we want to mark the occasion as we celebrate the newest Catamounts,” said Glenda Hensley, director of WCU’s Office of Student Transitions.

WCU’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will perform at the event, and an introduction and recognition of new faculty is planned. New students will sign a student community creed, signifying becoming part of a community of scholars who will cherish education and give back to the institution and community, then receive a Class of 2022 T-shirt and have a class photo taken on the football field at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Transitions at 828-227-3017.

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