Looking Back: New Student Convocation for the Class of 2021

We celebrate the Class of 2021 with a look back at its New Student Convocation ceremony in 2017.

PHOTO GALLERY: Elon New Student Convocation 2017

Following an unprecedented 2020-21 academic year, Elon is excited to celebrate the Class of 2021 this week during the university’s Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies.

Before the Class of 2021 takes its walk across the Commencement stage, we want to take a look back at the beginning of this group’s journey at Elon.

On Aug. 26, 2017, more than 1,600 new undergraduates and their families gathered Under the Oaks for New Student Convocation, marking the official beginning of their Elon experience. Relive the exciting day through photos in this gallery.

Elon’s new undergraduates joined in the singing of the Alma Mater during the 2017 New Student Convocation.

The Class of 2021 hailed from more than 40 states and 25 countries. Their backgrounds included leaders of clubs and organizations, recipients of academic honors, captains of athletic teams, volunteers, artists, and more.

The audience of eager new students heard encouraging words and advice from faculty and Elon administrators like Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley.

“Each of you will be stretched to climb to new heights and hone the gifts and talents that will lead you to even more extraordinary achievements while at Elon and beyond,” Dooley said.

Students also received encouragement from a fellow member of the student body. Representing the Student Government Association, Morgan Bodenarain ’18 told students about the challenges lying ahead of them, but assured the group that Elon would prepare them for each one.

Each student received a ceremonial acorn, symbolizing the beginning of their journeys at Elon.

“There is not a thought, dream or goal that will cross your mind that Elon will not have the tools to prepare you for,” Bodenarain said. “These next four years will undoubtedly be some of the best of your life. … The challenges you face will seem impossible at times, but they are meant to help you become the best version of yourself.”

Following the ceremony, each new Elon student received an acorn – a symbol of the promise of an Elon education. This week, graduates in the Class of 2021 will receive their diplomas, along with an oak sapling, representing their growth as students, global citizens and people in four years at Elon.

This year, Elon’s Undergraduate Commencement will be held in three in-person ceremonies on Friday, May 21, in Schar Center. For a full schedule of Commencement events and other details, visit the university’s 2021 Commencement website.