Celebrating New Beginnings

Second annual Rutgers–Camden Fall Convocation electrifies campus community

With music, inspiring words, and audience participation, Rutgers University in Camden enthusiastically welcomed back students for the start of its new academic year at the second annual Fall Convocation on Tuesday, September 12. 

“Convocation is a time to celebrate new beginnings,” said Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis to the students, faculty, and staff gathered at the Walter K. Gordon Theater. “The growth of our academic programs, our robust research output, our international reach, and the formation of new partnerships that engage and lift up our community are just a few of the many reasons to celebrate. I am particularly excited that 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of our School of Nursing, which has been a tremendous force in promoting the health and wellness of our community and region throughout its existence.” 

Sandra Richtermeyer, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, also spoke to the crowd.   

"It is a pleasure to celebrate this special time," Richtermeyer said. "To our students, know that everyone at Rutgers–Camden is invested in your success and is here to make your educational journey—and beyond—the very best it can be."   

Matthew Brodsky, a Rutgers–Camden senior and president of the Student Governing Association, encouraged students to embrace campus life.

Matthew Brodsky, Rutgers–Camden senior and president of the Student Governing Association.

Matthew Brodsky, Rutgers–Camden senior and president of the Student Governing Association.

"When I was first on campus, I spent most of my days walking from the parking lot to class and then back to the parking lot,” Brodsky said. “I knew something was missing.” Brodsky shared that he sought out opportunities to become more involved, and by doing so, realized he could make a meaningful impact. He encouraged students to sample all the campus has to offer and reach outside their comfort zones.

The ceremony also included representatives from Rutgers–Camden Greek life and a powerful performance of "Seasons of Love" by the university’s concert choir, led by Soyeon Bin, artist associate of applied music with Rutgers–Camden’s Department of Visual, Media and Performing Arts.

A group of student-athletes and cheerleaders, led by senior Gavin Henry from the Rutgers–Camden men’s basketball team, were then welcomed to the stage for the Raptor Call. This rally cry serves as a vibrant reminder of the values and beliefs that guide all who are part of the university community.

"Let me reassure you," Chancellor Tillis concluded, "Whether you are a new student or a returning student: You belong here, and you have what it takes to be a success at Rutgers–Camden.”

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Creative Design: Karaamat Abdullah
Photographer: Ron Downes, Jr.