- Lina Jang
On Thursday, August 30, 2018, Marymount Manhattan College officially welcomed the Class of 2022 and new transfer students to the campus community at the New Student Convocation, a festive event attended by hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and trustees.
Following an academic procession led by Grand Marshal Jill Stevenson, Professor of Theatre Arts and Faculty Council President, the incoming class was greeted by MMC President Kerry Walk, as well as Michael Materasso, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
Emmalyn Yamrick, Dean of Students, introduced three speakers, who welcomed new students into the MMC family: Brenelle Braganza, President of the Student Government Association (SGA); Raghib Allie-Brennan ’14, Alumni Speaker; and Zakkiyya Taylor, Assistant Director for Student and Community Engagement. Looking back on their own college careers, the speakers shared their best advice for rising to the challenge of college.
Braganza observed, “Everyone at Marymount, from the students, to the faculty and the administration, are all here to help you succeed and achieve everything you set your eyes on. If you dream it, you can achieve it.”
Allie-Brennan quoted, “Celebrating diversity in education and in each other is to me the essence of what Marymount is and stands for.”
Taylor challenged students to “find that thing that clicks for you here. Give a little of yourself to an organization. Lend your voice to an idea, project or cause.” She added: “Here at MMC, you’ll hear the term family a lot. And to us, that means so much. You’ll be surrounded by faculty who you’ll get to know and staff who are always here for you. And most importantly, you’ll create friendships that’ll last a lifetime. So welcome to our family. Welcome home!”
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Sharon Meagher brought her own greetings and conducted the Pinning Ceremony. Each new student was given a pin featuring the MMC logo on the image of a “big apple” as a tribute to New York City and the intent of the College’s founders—to provide a liberal arts education in a culturally rich urban environment. Upperclass Peer Leaders were invited to the stage to share what the MMC pin meant to them: integrity, passion, community, freedom of expression, creativity, inclusivity, and friendship, among many other meanings. Then, in the highlight of the ceremony, Dean Meagher asked students to exchange pins, not once, but twice, symbolizing students’ connection to each other. Students then affixed a pin to their own shirts.
The Convocation concluded with a raucous singing of the College’s Alma Mater, Hail Marymount! led by Musical Theatre students under the direction of Emily Clark, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts. The event was the culmination of a week of orientation and Welcome Week activities for new students and a celebratory launch of the new academic year.