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More than 800 new students welcomed to Carthage

  • Members of the Class of 2017 carry banners during the procession into Tarble Arena as part of New Student Convocation on S...
    Members of the Class of 2017 carry banners during the procession into Tarble Arena as part of New Student Convocation on Sept. 1, 2013.
    Carthage College
September 03, 2013

Professor Joseph Wall and Allison Von Borstel '15 discuss their collaborative research project on media piracy during the New Student Convocation on Sept. 1, 2013.Professor Joseph Wall and Allison Von Borstel '15 discuss their collaborative research project on media piracy during the New Student Convocation on Sept. 1, 2013.

Freshmen, transfers advised to wonder, take risks

Faculty, students, administrators, and community leaders greeted more than 800 incoming Carthage students during the New Student Convocation on Sept. 1.

The ceremony at Tarble Arena featured several speakers and musical performances by student ensembles. Drawing upon the 2013-14 campus theme “Wonder is the Beginning of Wisdom,” Carthage President Gregory S. Woodward described the intellectual journey he took while pondering the famous lullaby “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and the 19th century poem that inspired it.

“I hope you take this kind of journey hundreds and hundreds of times over the next few years,” he said, suggesting such exercises may open a door to a new major or passion. “I hope you are swept away from time to time in the pure joy of pursuing knowledge.”

The new arrivals include 714 incoming freshmen and 105 transfer students. They span 26 U.S. states and three foreign countries: Japan, Kenya, and the Philippines.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students listen during the New Student Convocation on Sept. 1, 2013, in Tarble Arena.James Spiers ’14, president of Carthage Student Government, urged the Class of 2017 to summon the courage to take risks while in college.

“Once we step off that stage, diploma in hand, we enter a world where failure is not as widely accepted,” he said.

Once he arrived on campus, it didn’t take long for James to take that first risk. The finance, marketing, and management major from Aurora, Ill., recalled leaping into the unknown by taking a course in ancient Greek with Professor Joseph McAlhany. James resisted the urge to drop the intimidating course and its unfamiliar alphabet, and today he considers that his most rewarding class.

Another student speaker, Ann O’Leary ’14, told new students and family members in the audience how the liberal arts curriculum satisfied her varying interests and enhanced her science education. A biology and neuroscience major from Evansville, Ill., she said the Introduction to Acting course strengthened her public speaking skills for research presentations.

Even the freshman staple Western Heritage taught Ann to work with students from many different personality styles and cultural backgrounds.

“Who would have thought I’d meet my best friend while discussing the deeper meanings of ‘The Odyssey’?” she said.

Allison Von Borstel ’15 and Professor Joseph Wall, chair of the Business Administration Department, shared the value of faculty-student interaction at Carthage. This past summer, they collaborated on media piracy research through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. Allison, an economics and international political economy major from Orland Park, Ill., went into her first meeting with Prof. Wall expecting a five-minute session, yet they spent three hours discussing her career path.

“You’ll soon realize that the faculty sitting around you truly care,” she said, remembering a Dante-themed celebration at another faculty member’s home featuring angel’s food and devil’s food cakes.

Professor Tracy Gartner discussed the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), one of many undergraduate research options at Carthage. She is co-founder of the network, which unites students and faculty here with more than 150 institutions across the country. Prof. Gartner called it one of many examples of “authentic, transformative science” practiced at the College.

Along with the Carthage Choir, two new student musical ensembles performed at the convocation: Ensemble AMATI, an instrumental group conducted by Professor James Ripley, and the Crimson Quintet choral group.