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President Drake welcomes new students with words of encouragement and a little rock ‘n’ roll

Members of the marching band helped start the Welcome Week experience and some rock and roll helped close it out, but in between, it was a message of encouragement for the newest students at The Ohio State University.

President Michael V. Drake joined university leaders and more than 7,500 first-year students at the Jerome Schottenstein Center Monday for the annual President’s Convocation. He noted that the class beginning autumn semester this week is the most talented and most diverse in university history.

“Everyone here was selected on purpose, everyone here was selected one at a time, everyone here was brought here because we wanted you to join us in this endeavor,” Drake said. “You are here because we want you and that’s a great thing for you and for us.”

Convocation is the official welcome event at Ohio State for first-year students. For some it’s their first chance to meet their new classmates and to join arms and sing Carmen Ohio, and it is likely the only time prior to graduation that the class of 2021 is gathered in one location.

“You are about to embark on a wonderful, exciting and challenging journey here at The Ohio State University and I am delighted to share all of this with you,” said Senior Vice President for Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston.

President Drake joins Shadowbox Live 

Norah Zuniga Shaw, professor of dance and technology, was the featured speaker at Convocation. Shaw encouraged the students to work together, collaborate and start forming networks now.

“The times of the solo genius are over,” she said. “This is the century of networks.”

Following Convocation, first-year students were treated to the Columbus Welcome Event, an introduction to the city many of these students will call home for the next four years. The production featured prizes for the students as well as a closer look at some of the best Columbus has to offer.

Drake closed out the welcome event by rocking with performers from Shadowbox Live. He joined the band for versions of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

Josie Wigg, a first-year student from Columbus, said she’s following her mom’s footsteps by coming to Ohio State. She said it has been a welcoming experience.

“It’s been fun so far and I’m meeting a lot of new people.”