Nichols College officially welcomes the Class of 2027 at Convocation ceremony

August 31, 2023

Nichols College gathered to formally welcome the Class of 2027 to the campus community on Wednesday, August 30, during the College’s annual first-year student Convocation ceremony. The tradition marks the official opening of the academic year and the beginning of a transformational educational journey.

New students were greeted by the cheers of College leadership, faculty, staff, alumni and hundreds of upperclassmen flanking the sidewalk as they processed from the Copper Quad to the Athletic Center, where the ceremony was held.

The ceremonial proceedings included a greeting by Student Government President and varsity softball player Lilly Fangel ’24, an invocation by the Rev. Joseph P. Shea, messages of welcome and support from college leaders, a keynote address by alumna and CPA Kaitlyn Barron ’19, MSA ’20, and recitation of the Bison Creed, a pledge of community values.

“The term convocation refers to a calling together of all new students. It is a formal academic ceremony that together with your graduation four years from now, will serve as bookends to your undergraduate experience here at Nichols College,” said Provost Dan Borgia, Ph.D., who led the ceremony. “Today’s convocation ceremony is designed to inspire your commitment to academic excellence,” he told the first-year students in attendance.

“These will be some of your greatest days in your life—new friends, new programs, a fresh start, a clean slate. And as the title of our just-commissioned strategic plan states, it’s an opportunity to Embrace Greatness,” said President Glenn M. Sulmasy, JD, LL.M in his welcome remarks. “From what I’ve seen over the past year and read and heard about all of you, this class will actually set records on the Hill,” in both academic performance and early career achievement.

Read more about the class of 2027.

Acknowledging that success won’t always be easy, Sulmasy advised the students to utilize passion and grit (“The Nichols Way”) to build a successful academic foundation in their first year and beyond, and to rely on peers, faculty, staff and coaches for help overcoming obstacles. Success will follow, he said, especially given the increased recognition the College has earned.

In the past year, the College has received prestigious AACSB accreditation in business, a Top 10 national ranking by Forbes for its cybersecurity program and “top regional college” rankings by The Princeton Review and US News & World Report.

In her keynote remarks, Baron offered an alumna’s perspective on life as a Bison. Currently an assurance associate at Marcum LLP, a national accounting and advisory firm, Baron was an active student and founded an accounting mentorship program that still exists today in its evolved form as the innovative Women in Nichols mentorship program. She is also a member of BOLD, or Bison of the Last Decade, a group of alums who help support current and new College initiatives.

“I want you to consciously think about your legacy each and every day and challenge yourself to do even more and create and leave the best legacy you can,” she advised the students.

And, how can the students become the most successful versions of themselves within the next four years?

“Hard work and not giving up are the two biggest pieces that got me here, and these two ideas sum up what it means to have grit,” answered Baron. “What matters going forward is the effort you’re going to put in your classes and everything you take on.”

She also shared a few tips for holding yourself accountable to your goals: “show up” every day; surround yourself with others with hardworking goals; and utilize dedicated faculty who are there to help.

“Grit mixed with Bison Pride is the recipe for high accomplishment, and that’s what makes Nichols students stand out.”

(Pictured: Kaitlyn Baron ’19, MSA ’20, delivers Keynote address.)

About Nichols College

Nichols College has earned business accreditation from the prestigious Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools and the largest business education network connecting learners, educators, and businesses worldwide. Founded in 1815, Nichols College transforms today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders through a dynamic, career-focused business and professional education. Nichols offers real-world learning focused on professional depth – combined with vibrant living, competitive athletics, and an unmatched alumni advantage – equipping students to exceed their own expectations.

Media Contacts

Denise Kelley