Your guide to Convocation 2020

Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

The move into freshmen dorms is over, the cardboard boxes filled with personal belongings from home are (mostly) unpacked, and classes start for real on Wednesday. Fall semester 2020 kicks into high gear on Tuesday for nearly 3,000 new students with a wide array of opportunities to explore Northeastern’s global network.

The annual President’s Convocation ceremony that would normally be held in person at Matthews Arena on the Boston campus shifts online to #ProtectthePackNU in the pandemic.

The day begins at 7 a.m. EDT with Fall Fest, a virtual campus-wide celebration showcasing the hundreds of ways for new students to get involved and make friends through student organizations, club sports, and other university offices and departments.

A large 3D map will help students navigate organizations to join. They will be grouped into different “campsites” such as International and Cultural, Leadership and Governing, Philanthropic and Community Engagement, and Religious and Spiritual, among others.

Members from each organization will be present at their booths to chat in a private, live Zoom-like format about what their organizations have to offer. Students have a chance to win prizes such as iPads and AirPods.

In addition, 45 student groups are performing at the main stage via pre-recorded video. These organizations range from Pep Band to the Stage Musical Theater Company to the Choral Society.

At 3 p.m., Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, joined by university leaders, including every college dean, as well as Kate Kuznetsova, president of the Student Government Association, will share their thoughts and guidance with new students.

Viewers can follow along Tuesday on Instagram, Facebook or HuskyCable channel 89.

Later in the day, Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas will recount his journey in America as an undocumented immigrant in a 7 p.m. First Pages event, Northeastern’s reading program for incoming undergraduates. The Tony and Emmy award nominee is the author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.

Finally, Convocation wouldn’t be the same without lights. In years past it has been a tradition to illuminate a torch as a way of officially inducting new students into the university community. That won’t happen this year. In its place, though, will be something just as memorable. Tune in at 9 p.m. on Facebook Live to find out.

Northeastern is the global leader in co-op and experiential learning, with students who work and study in 146 countries around the globe.

Students were placed in 11,787 co-op positions in 2018-2019, up from 6,301 in 2006-07. And, the university has more than 3,052 co-op employers in the United States and around the world.

Over the past 10 years, 93 percent of Northeastern graduates were employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within nine months of graduation.

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