A drizzle of rain didn’t stop the early morning hustle and bustle on Friday, August 28, as hundreds of new students gathered in the Athletic/Recreation Center (ARC) anxiously waiting for the opening of registration. For the more than 550 incoming University of the Sciences students, the day marked an annual rite of passage: college move-in day.
The day began with the efforts of the “luggers and tuggers,” current University students who assisted the new students in unpacking cars and vans loaded with residence hall essentials and getting settled into their dorm rooms. With rooms filled to the brim, the new students and their parents, along with faculty and staff, assembled in the ARC for the University’s seventh annual convocation ceremony.
The faculty led a processional of new students, all clad in matching green t-shirts, into the packed gymnasium. University President Dr. Philip P. Gerbino officially welcomed the students to the first day of their collegiate journey, a time of remarkable “transition and transformation.”
As members of the millennial generation, the University’s newest students are well-known for their distinctive civic character – a point of hope and pride for keynote speaker Todd Bernstein, president of Global Citizen, and founder and director of the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. With his own long-standing background and distinguished career in public service, Bernstein called upon the tremendous professional and social responsibility that each student has before them:
“As students you can be active citizens and address issues ranging from healthcare to homelessness and education to the environment,” said Bernstein. “Increasingly, it’s clearer that to solve our most pressing problems, government can do some of the work, but as citizens, as students we must all do our part.”
In support of Bernstein’s charity, Global Citizen, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting civic engagement, community volunteering, civic responsibility, and sustained active citizenship, the University collected donations throughout the day. The new students will also participate in a community cleanup at nearby Royal Gardens.
Not even 12 hours into their college careers, Bernstein handed out a homework assignment: sit down at lunch with a student you’ve never met, strike up a conversation, and begin the process of learning about each other.
The activities of the day drew to a close with a pinning ceremony, during which faculty presented the new students with a University of the Sciences pin, marking the end of convocation and the start of the students’ collegiate experience.
The classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015 represent a diverse, dynamic group of aspiring healthcare professionals and leaders who will take on sophisticated disciplines such as bioinformatics, physical therapy, and pharmacy. For the 2009-10 school year, University of the Sciences received approximately 308 students into its Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, 64 into its Samson College of Health Sciences, 170 into the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, and 14 into Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy.