More than 600 new students will be officially welcomed into the St. Bonaventure family when they arrive on campus this week for Welcome Days.
More than 550 freshmen will move into their residence halls Thursday, Aug. 23, and then will be officially inducted into the Bonaventure student body at the Candlelight Ceremony that evening. The 9 p.m. program will be held on the steps of Plassmann Hall and will be followed by a block party outside the Richter Center. (In case of rain, the Candlelight Ceremony will be held in an outdoor tent).
More than 60 transfer students will take part in orientation Sunday.
“The candlelight ceremony is a beautiful tradition to welcome the class to the university community,” said Chris Brown, who oversees the Welcome Days activities. “Along with the senior candlelight ceremony before Commencement, it is one of my favorite events each year.” The ceremony is the only Welcome Days event to which parents and family members are invited. The rest of the weekend is designed for students.
On Friday, Aug. 24, and Saturday, Aug. 25, students will participate in presentations and activities to help them prepare for the transition into college. The students will participate in workshops on respecting diversity, responsible alcohol use, and preventing sexual violence. They will get to know each other in residential floor meetings and social programs including a hypnotist, poetry hour and shoot-out basketball tournament.
The freshman class will collaborate on their first SBU service projects together during a Day of Involvement on Sunday, Aug. 26. Opportunities available to the students include packing school supplies for children in need, including refugee children served by Saint’s Place in the Rochester area; assisting BonaResponds with painting and wheelchair ramp projects; and engaging with St. Bonaventure veteran students and writing letters to veterans and those serving our country. They will also attend workshops hosted by clubs and organizations on campus.
At 5 p.m. Sunday, the entire university community is invited to attend the Mass of the Holy Spirit as the university begins a new academic year. Mass will be held under a tent outside the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry. The special celebration will also include the blessing and dedication of the new statue of Saint Francis and Saint Clare.
Fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 27.
About the University:The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
St. Bonaventure has selected “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown as the All Bonaventure Reads (ABR) book for 2020-2021.
“I’m Still Here” challenges readers to face how the institutions we live within have an inherent structure supporting whiteness. The author, who was named Austin to avoid preconceived ideas about black-sounding names, recounts her experience growing up in a white community and her journey working toward racial inclusivity in society.
Brown discusses how racial injustice has permeated all facets of society and in order for people to move toward understanding and equality, they must be more willing to live out their words rather than simply speak them.
The All Bonaventure Reads format will be different this year, as are many initiatives, due to COVID-19. The university’s first-year students typically receive the ABR book at Orientation in July, read it during the summer, and prepare an essay as their first college assignment.
With Orientation moving online this summer, “I’m Still Here” will be given to students when they move in during Welcome Days and will be incorporated into the curriculum of the first-year seminar course, SBU-101, along with other campus events during the fall semester. The summer assignment will instead be an essay asking students to reflect on themes found in “I’m Still Here,” St. Bonaventure’s 15th all-campus read.
“Brown’s authoritative tone and moving message make this a must-read”
— Publishers Weekly
“Austin Channing Brown introduces herself as a master memoirist. This book will break open hearts and minds.”
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