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Convocation 2019

Students pinning each other

CHARLOTTE, N.C., August 29, 2019 – The graduating class of 2023 are official Smithites! Thursday, August 29 incoming 2019 freshman, dressed in black and white outfits, filled Biddle Hall Auditorium for their first Convocation, which also included a Pinning Ceremony. 

The ceremony began with an invocation from Dr. Kendal Mobley, followed by a selection from the university concert choir. 

2019-20 Student Government Association President, Shakoya Brown ‘20 encouraged students to take pride in the university. 

Brown said, “I encourage you to hold high the Gold and the Blue”.

Dr. Anita Bledsoe-Gardner, who gave the convocation address, encouraged students to take pride in the university, but most importantly, to take pride in themselves. 

“I am somebody. I was somebody when I stepped into this space. I am powerful. I am strong. I had a purpose before anybody had an opinion. I move with integrity and respect. Respect for myself and others. I am not the stereotype society placed on me. I have things to do. People to impress. And places to go. But above all, I deserve the education I get here,” Bledsoe-Gardner read aloud to freshman as they stood and recited the same words.

She went on to tell students to have integrity in themselves and advocate for themselves.

 The choir gave another selection, before Dean Brian Jones, Ph.D. recited the honor code. 

Dr. Antonio Henley led the pinning ceremony. Before he asked students to pin each other he offered inspiration to students about Biddle Hall and the privilege they have to get an education at a Historically Black College and University.

Students spent a few moments placing pins on one another before Dr. Mobley wrapped Convocation with a Benediction.

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