Dean Lloyd W. Chapin's Remarks
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Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
August 8, 2008
On behalf of Eckerd College it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome the Class of 2012. This Ceremony of Lights marks your rite of passage into membership in this unique community. We also welcome your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and other relatives and friends. You have come from far and near, some from the other side of the globe, others from here on the south side of St. Petersburg and everywhere in between. In every case, it's good to have you here on campus. You are, after all, our reason for being.
Those of you who are members of the Class of 2012 have already received your medallion as you entered. In the moments to follow you will be welcomed and recognized by other members of our community. We know that you have had a busy day and may feel somewhat fatigued from moving belongings, standing in lines, meeting new faces, learning new names, searching for unfamiliar locations. But this sense of strangeness and newness and even fatigue will not last long. In a day or two those of you who are students will feel quite at home and invigorated. In fact, by the time the other students return, you will feel as if you own the place. We want you to feel at home, to feel that you have come to the right place, that you are among friends. We also have high hopes and expectations for you.
Eckerd's Autumn Term is unique in that it brings first year students together as a class, turns the campus over to them, and gives them three weeks to adjust to the opportunities, expectations, and patterns of college life, both academically and socially. Some of the friendships that you make during Autumn Term will last a lifetime. We hope that the education that begins here will also serve you for a lifetime, and serve you well.
Tonight you embark together on one of life's great and best adventures. We are privileged to share it with you and extend a warm welcome.