More than 600 people filled the David J. Prior Convocation Center on Aug. 20 for the largest Convocation in the history of the college.
Convocation, the ceremonial commencement for the academic year, began with a procession led by freshmen from the Cavalier Gap. Following the freshmen were the Highland Cavalier marching band, along with the college’s athletes and representatives from many student organizations.
Provost Sanders Huguenin started the ceremony by touching on the history of convocation and the university system before Academic Dean Amelia Harris introduced the college’s new and returning faculty.
Then, in the core segment of the ceremony, Donna Henry, the eighth chancellor of the college, delivered her first state of the college address.
Henry began her speech by noting the Cavalier Gap and its hopeful future uses for tailgating, cultural events and celebrations of achievement by the campus community before discussing her initial months at Wise and the college’s strategic plan “Envisioning 2020.”
“The Envisioning 2020 committee and the entire college community have been involved in evaluating our strengths and challenges as well as envisioning what we want to become,” Henry said.
On Oct. 2, the strategic plan will be reviewed and approved by the UVa-Wise board before it is sent to the UVA Board of Visitors for final review and approval she said. The plan will help guide the college’s decision as it moves into the future.
Students can currently view the plan’s draft on the UVa-Wise website and also provide their own input.
Henry went on to discuss construction on campus, the college’s move to NCAA Division II and improvements in academics at the college.
Following her address, Student Government Association President Dakota Hill and Honor Court Chair Nate Large were installed for the academic year.