LAWRENCEVILLE - Georgia Gwinnett College officially welcomed its new students Thursday during the institution's second convocation.
Hundreds of students, faculty and staff packed the atrium of the college's signature B Building for the convocation, a Latin term meaning assembly or gathering.
GGC freshman Jordahn Pope watched the ceremony from a walkway on the second floor that overlooks the atrium. She said the convocation seemed similar to a graduation - only instead of celebrating people leaving the college, the ceremony was welcoming students coming into the academic community.
"I think it's important (to attend) because you get to hear from the president and students that graduated from here," said Pope, a Berkmar High School graduate.
President Daniel Kaufman, biology professor Candace Timpte and graduate Andrea Ide each delivered a message to students to make the most of their time at GGC.
Also during the ceremony, students, faculty and staff who exemplify the college's four core values of leadership, service, creativity and scholarship received awards.
Timpte, recipient of GGC's Outstanding Teaching Award and the University System of Georgia Outstanding Teaching Award, encouraged students to extend their education beyond the confines of the classroom.
"Don't just pass a class and pass a class and pass a class," she said. "Make it your goal to learn knowledge and put it together for a holistic experience."
Ide, who recently graduated from Harvard University with a master's degree in psychology, said the college has a lot to offer students, especially in its supportive faculty and administration.
Kaufman told the students they will be an integral part of the growing campus. He said the students play a big role in developing the school's culture.
"You are our partners," he said. "Together we have a chance to do something special. ... Welcome to the extraordinary experiment we call Georgia Gwinnett College."
SideBar: At A Glance
During its convocation Thursday, Georgia Gwinnett College gave awards to the following students, faculty and staff who exemplify the college's core values of leadership, service, creativity and scholarship.
· Jonelle Faal - Outstanding Service Award
· Thomas Willard - Outstanding Leadership Award
· Mary Galloway - Outstanding Scholarship Award
· Candace Timpte, associate professor of biology - Georgia Gwinnett College Outstanding Teaching Award and University System of Georgia 2010 Regents' Teaching Excellence Award
· David Cook, associate professor of performing and visual arts - Outstanding Student Engagement Award
· Douglas Johnson, associate professor of management and business systems - Outstanding Scholarship and Creative Activities Award
· Jessica Damian, assistant professor of English - Outstanding Service to the College and the Community Award
· Fred Ogalla, laboratory supervisor - Outstanding Staff Member
· Kathija Jamaloodeen, administrative assistant - Outstanding Staff Member