Opening Convocation: Celebrating new beginning

Allyson Edge | Staff Writer

Hampton University held its 77th Annual Opening Convocation ceremony Oct. 6 to celebrate the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. 

The keynote address was given by Dr. Desiree Williams, a Hampton alumna, former director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute and a former assistant professor of physical therapy at Hampton University. In her speech, Williams provided three encouraging points for the senior class: “Remember why you are here, life is about choices and if you are called, you are worthy.” 

When asked about his thoughts on the speaker, HU student Isaiah Timmons, a senior graphic design major, discussed how Dr. Williams utilized the phrase “if you are called, you are worthy,” and continued to reiterate it throughout her address in order to em- phasize its significance. He noted that this portion of the speech stuck with him because in life people may find themselves questioning their worth. Dr. Williams’ mantra suggests that if some- one is positioned to accomplish a task, they are worthy and have the power to choose their own path. 

Timmons, who is looking forward to graduating in May, reflected on his previous years attending Opening Convocation: “In the past, as an un- derclassman, my perspective was very outside looking in, and this year, I felt more a part of the ceremony. I felt like 

Convocation is more of a wake-up call to seniors to push to continue to excel and avoid making poor decisions that may impact your ability to graduate.” 

As Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey said, the Open- ing Convocation ceremony is meant to honor a 77-year tradition at Hamp- ton University and to “celebrate the beginning of another exciting academic year.” 

First-year music recording tech- nology major Nate Abdul-Haqq said that it is important for freshmen to attend the event. 

“It wasn’t as long as people made it seem,” Abdul-Haqq said.

“Especially if you listened to what the speaker said and took in the lessons. The speaker was energetic, relatable and kept people engaged. So, I wouldn’t change any- thing about it.” 

For Abdul-Haqq, seeing his senior peers wearing their caps and gowns was a reminder of where students aspire to be in the future. 

“I was able to remember why I am here,” he said. “Especially in the midst of midterms and homecoming, it was a wake-up call to be mindful of the time that I have and to prioritize school.” 

Even though all students can take away insights from the ceremony, with only eight months left until gradua- tion, seniors will take these words of wisdom into account as they continue to make more memories on campus and eventually embark on their next endeavors.


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