Pitt welcomes class of 2017

By Danielle Fox / Staff Writer

The elected leader of Pitt’s student body made it his goal to be accessible to students of the Class of 2017. 

During the welcoming remarks by Student Government Board president Gordon Louderback, he asked the incoming freshman class to save his email address in their phones. He promised he’d be there if they had any questions as they started school.

“As student government president, it’s my job to represent you by working with Pitt administration, local and national representatives to advocate for Pitt students,” he said.

Louderback was one of four speakers to address Pitt’s largest freshman class to date when he spoke at the Freshman Convocation Wednesday afternoon, which took place at the Petersen Events Center. In addition to Louderback, several senior administrators welcomed this year’s freshman class of about 3,500 students.

Provost and Senior Chancellor Patricia Beeson noted that Pitt has been an institution for more than 225 years. Even though the students were new to this “honored tradition,” she told them, “you are now our future and we are counting on you to make the world a better place.”

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg spoke to the students about Pitt’s previous achievements before their arrival on campus.

Specifically, the University received a positive external assessment of its progress from a team representing the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent educational accreditation company. Nordenberg noted that Pitt has ascended to the top ranks of the country’s finest universities for research.

“By any measure, this reputational advance reflects reality,” he said. “From the undergraduate education it provides, from the research it produces, to the external awards and honors its faculty and students earn, the University can be proud of where it stands.”

Nordenberg left the students with three pieces of advice: take care of business, take full advantage of the wide range of available opportunities and take good care of yourself.

Dean of Students Kathy Humphrey told students that they did not just choose to attend University of Pittsburgh, but the University also chose them.

“You wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have unwavering faith in you and your abilities. We believe that all of you can and will be successful here and it will be our aim to provide you with the best collegiate experience in the world, in and out of the classroom,” she said.

Humphrey also encouraged the students to experience all that Pitt has to offer both inside and outside of the classroom and listed the successes the University’s graduates have achieved. She told the students that their time on campus will not only benefit them intellectually, but it will also expand the way they think and help them develop as people.

Humphrey told students that in four years, their resumés would tell only part of what they accomplished.

“But your character will be known by many, and the actions you have taken will tell the real story of the life that you have created for yourself,” she said.