Castleton University officially opened the 2019-20 academic year Thursday, Aug. 29, with Fall Convocation as a crowd of more than 500 students, faculty, alumni, and staff members joined President Dr. Karen M. Scolforo in Casella Theater.
President Scolforo welcomed those in the packed theater back to campus for the beginning of her fifth semester, and introduced a new format for Convocation, featuring 10 speakers.
"It's my honor and my pleasure to welcome you back, to welcome you home for the fall semester. This is the official kickoff of the academic year, and we are thrilled to have you all here." President Scolforo said. "... There are so many exciting initiatives that are happening here at Castleton and they are happening because of so many people, including all of you. And, one of the things that we practice here and that we are all very passionate about, and I feel very confident saying we are all passionate about, is our commitment to shared governance. That means there are many of us involved in the leadership of this amazing institution, that all of us are charged with carrying on the traditions of Castleton University, dating back to 1787."
President Scolforo recognized new employees before providing an overview of the University’s new schools, which include the College of Business, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and the College of Health and Sciences. She also shared information about the 21 new undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs the University launched last year, including Early Childhood and Special Education, Resort and Hospitality Management, and a fully online Master of Business Administration.
President Scolforo also shared her experiences with international recruitment in Doshisha, Japan, and the value international students add to the campus community.
College of Health and Science Interim Dean Dr. Peter Kimmel, College of Business Interim Dean Cathy Kozlik, and College of Arts and Humanities Dean Dr. Jonathan Spiro shared information on new programs and their respective colleges before welcoming the University’s new Provost Dr. Thomas Mauhs-Pugh.
Dr. Mauhs-Pugh spoke of the Castleton Way and the importance of access to education.
"Dean of Students Dennis Proulx spoke recently of the Castleton Way, a habit of civility and respect, of being engaged in our community and giving back. And I see that every day on this campus. For 232 years Castleton has, in its various incarnations, been embracing students as part of a family and educating them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to both make a good living and to do good in the world."
James Lambert, director of marketing and communications, and Courtney Widli, director of development and alumni affairs, introduced themselves to the community in their new roles.
Director of Student Activities Matthew Patry welcomed our new and returning students and spoke about the importance of clubs and organizations and the vital role of the Student Government Association. SGA President Reilly Knipes ’20 shared new initiatives and activities sponsored by SGA.
Dr. Andre Fleche, faculty assembly president, closed out Convocation by introducing the college chorus to sing the Castleton Anthem.