Ten quotes to remember from the 186th Gettysburg College Convocation

President Riggs speaks during Convocation. (Andy Milone/GNN)

The 186th Gettysburg College Opening Convocation Ceremony took place on Aug. 23 in the center of campus. If there were members of the Class of 2021 who thought more about the heat, the future of the college journey ahead, or their last meal, here are some useful quotes to remind yourself of the event or maybe just stick on the fridge.

  • “I am delighted to welcome 728 members of the Class of 2021 [and transfer students] to Gettysburg College. We selected you from nearly 6400 applications. Your group comes from 30 states and 13 countries and it is clear from your application that you represent the very best of your high school graduating classes.” – Gail Sweezey, Director of Admissions
  • “My faculty colleagues and I urge you to work continually in the forthcoming months and years to move beyond your comfort zone, both intellectually and socially. Take advantage of the many opportunities here to experience ideas, perspectives, and people who are not familiar or seem comfortable to you. Your best preparation for the life that you will live after you graduate from Gettysburg is to embrace the diverse learning experiences that await you throughout the next four years.” – Christopher Zappe, Provost
  • Why do we collectively continue to embrace such simplified stories of heroes, victims, and villains? To ask why we become so comfortable with how consistently we cast the roles? Why do we cling so stubbornly to a past that has never proven true? Why do we commit monuments and memorials to the myths of who we were, refuse the reality of who we are, and bind ourselves from the becoming what we have the potential to be?” – McKinley Melton, Keynote Speaker and Assistant Professor of English
  • “You need not wait for such explosive instances to pursue the connections between your experiences here and the world around us.”- McKinley Melton, Keynote Speaker and Assistant Professor of English
  • “I have made all of my best friends by getting involved in the many opportunities that Gettysburg offers. However, I have managed to get out of what we call the Gettysburg Bubble. You will find your place here; I know you will; But try not to let what you are involved in whether it be band, Greek life, a sport, or any activity take control of your life. Try and get out on the town and do some community service or go on an immersion trip sponsored by the Center for Public Service, or even go abroad for a semester, or a year.” – Jessica Hubert ’18, Orientation Coordinator
  • “Shape this campus, do not let it shape you.” – Jessica Hubert ’18, Orientation Coordinator
  • “Some of the most obvious things are hard to see — that we live with realities that we don’t even notice, let alone question.” – President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77
  • “I can’t tell you how many alumni and seniors tell me they wish that they had branched out and taken some courses that they had missed out on because they were too busy to notice the curricular water — that vast and varied ocean around them.” – President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77
  • “If you walk around with your head in your phone, you will not notice the people around you. You will miss what is most important in the Gettysburg water. So lifting your heads as you walk across campus, seeing and greeting those around you is a habit that you encourage you to give out.” – President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77
  • “Perhaps you have heard President Riggs speak of the special sauce that makes Gettysburg work, and you have decided to join us in the process of making this college what it is and what it can be.” – McKinley Melton, Keynote Speaker and Assistant Professor of English
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