University of Vermont

Ceremonial Events - Convocation

Welcome Carl Lisman

Convocation 2006 Welcome
Carl H. Lisman, Chair of the Board of Trustees

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it’s my pleasure and honor to welcome you to the University of Vermont.

This is the second Convocation I have attended at UVM. Last year was my first. I never attended Convocation when I was a student here. That was, I believe, an error of judgment consistent with how I handled my first semester at UVM. I sincerely hope that you will learn from my insight.

I arrived in the fall of 19..... ready to conquer the University, if not the world. I was sure I knew everything. And near the top of the list of everything I knew was that I was “cool.”

Too cool to take it all in.

Too cool to express surprise.

Too cool to be a little overwhelmed by being a Freshman in college.

Too cool to stop to smell the roses.

I can tell you now that, in spite of my “cool-ness,” and not because of it - I survived the first semester of my Freshman year. But only just barely.

I will give just two examples to prove my point:

First, I paid my residence hall room deposit, moved into Chittenden, signed up for classes and bought my books before I was reminded that I had never sent in my acceptance form or paid the required tuition.

Second, it wasn’t until the night before the Botany final exam that I realized that there was a textbook for the class.

So I believe that I am qualified to share with the incoming class “Lisman’s Rules for Being a Freshman at UVM.” I know that the upperclass students who are here - including those from the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Mortar Board, Boulder and TOWERR - already know what I’m about to say because they having been living it. So, with apologies to David Letterman, here they are:

10. Go to your classes. Cool is getting an education. Not Cool is wasting an opportunity.

9. Get to know your professors. They are here because they’re teachers. Don’t be bashful. You’re here to learn. Take advantage of their knowledge, experience and intellect.

8. Get to know your classmates. What makes the university experience special is the chance to grow from being around people who aren’t like you, who don’t think like you and who come from different backgrounds.

7. Explore the University. Check out its facilities. There’s lots to do.

6. Get involved as a volunteer. Find a charity, find a cause, find something fun. You, your classmates, your professors, administrators and staff can make a difference.

5. Study; be prepared for class.

4. Think. Think about big stuff and little stuff.

3. Make good choices. Though now is the time to test limits, it’s also the time to make the right choices and to always think about your personal safety - physical and mental. Your parents aren’t here to make and enforce rules. You are now the rule maker and rule enforcer. A large measure of your success here will be how you handle this new responsibility.

2. Appreciate what your parents and others have done to get you here. Sacrifices have been made for you. Thank those who have done for you.

1. Enjoy your time at the University of the Green Mountains. If you’re like almost every other UVMer, you’ll look back at your time here as some of the best years of your life.

Welcome to UVM.

Last modified September 10 2006 05:14 PM

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