Abington launches new academic year with convocation, New Student Day

Abington chancellor

Penn State Abington Chancellor Damian Fernandez spoke to first-year and transfer students during Academic Convocation.

Credit: Anthony Sorrendino

ABINGTON, Pa. — Penn State Abington launched about 1,100 students, one of the largest incoming classes in campus history, into the new academic year with formal academic convocation and New Student Day activities last week.

First-year students and new transfer students attended convocation in the Athletic Building. Convocation opened with the procession of campus faculty and staff in their academic regalia led by Faculty Senate Chair Carolyn Esposito.

Convocation speakers included Chancellor Damian Fernandez, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Andrew August, Assistant Professor of English Alisha Walters, and Student Government Association President Vedan Desai. 

Among Fernandez’s remarks, he offered a profile of the Penn State Abington Class of 2023:

  • 590 are first-generation college students.
  • 100 are part of the Abington College Honors Program.
  • Students hail from 39 states, including Hawaii, and 20 countries, with most arriving from China. 

Walters talked to the students about the value of feeling uncomfortable. 

“I want to suggest that you consider situations where you find yourselves uncomfortable as opportunities for growth,” she said. “This semester, when you feel uncomfortable … don’t take this as a sign that you don’t belong. Instead, lean into this discomfort. Ask questions. Talk to your professors. Study. And grow. And talk to each other! Try to make friends you would never have even spoken to in high school. Friends that may challenge your beliefs.”

After convocation, students broke into groups and gathered throughout campus for presentations and lunch while getting acquainted before the first day of classes of Aug. 26.

See more photos from convocation and New Student Day on the Penn State Abington Facebook page

Penn State Abington students

First-year Penn State Abington students gathered for Academic Convocation and then connected with their classmates for New Student Day activities.

Credit: Anthony Sorrendino

About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st century public higher education within a world-class research university. With nearly 4,000 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 21 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics and more.