HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 23, 2015 – High Point University’s Roberts Hall lawn was set for Commencement today – a stage, thousands of chairs filled with eager minds and family members, and faculty dressed in regalia. But it wasn’t graduation, it was Convocation – the formal introduction of the freshman class to the faculty.
Thousands of students and family members filled the Convocation ceremony, which signals the start of the academic year and sets the stage for the education students will receive in and beyond the classroom. Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, addressed the 1,450 new students and emphasized that at HPU, individuals don’t just learn, they learn how to learn.
“You came to this university not to learn the answers, but to discover the right questions,” Qubein said. “You must be a vertical thinker. You come armed with iPhones and iPads and the convenience of technology, but technology does not distinguish between information and knowledge. You must do that. You must acquire the appreciation for scholarship.”
Developing the ability to learn from failure is essential to that process, Qubein added.
“I encourage you not to fear failure because you will fail at times – we all do,” he said. “Don’t give up. Don’t get mad. Don’t doubt yourself. It is not failing that you should be afraid of. It is failing to learn, failing to stretch, failing to insist on significance. You are in one of the spots that 70,000 students inquired about, and we selected you because we believe you can do it. You must do your part, and together, we will succeed.”
A total of 8,200 visitors were brought to the city this weekend through family members of the incoming class, as well as family members who accompanied the returning student body back to campus. Qubein ended the ceremony with an important reminder to those family members as they bid farewell today.
“Parents, you are not leaving your students behind,” he said. “You are propelling them forward. You gave them roots. High Point University will give them wings.”
It’s tradition for students to receive a blanket at the end of ceremony, which Qubein encourages them to give to someone who has made an impact on their life, such as a parent, a teacher or a friend.
Students tonight will participate in another tradition – the signing of the Honor Code. HPU is a values-based institution, and the University Honor Code signing ceremony sets the tone for academic and personal integrity, character development and the declaration of the honorable community.
Classes commence on Wednesday with many new academic programs and offerings. HPU welcomes 41 new faculty members this fall, 20 of which are new positions.
HPU By the Numbers:
- 8,200 visitors generated by students’ return
- 1,450 new students
- 4,600 total enrollment – undergraduate and graduate students – largest in history
- 41 new faculty members