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As the semester commences, here’s your guide to Convocation 2021

President Joseph E. Aoun and other university leaders welcomed incoming freshmen, Northeastern's 121st class, to campus at the President's Convocation, held in Matthews Arena. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

​​For the thousands of new students on Northeastern’s Boston campus, the annual President’s Convocation ceremony will kick off another busy academic year. Matthews Arena will host in-person celebrations of the start of a new fall term with normal activities resuming on a safe campus. 

After last year’s ceremony shifted online due the COVID-19 pandemic, the semester inaugural event on Monday will welcome students and faculty who are now vaccinated against the virus to gather safely.

The Labor Day welcome event will consist of two ceremonies this year, with the first slated to begin at 10 a.m. EDT. The second event will begin at 2 p.m. EDT. Doors will open at 8:45 a.m. for the pre-ceremony festivities, which will include video performances from student groups and several other announcements and messages from Welcome Week organizers.    

Several student organizations will be hosting an online trivia game that students can tune into on their smartphones before the ceremony as well. 

President Joseph E. Aoun and other university leaders welcomed incoming freshmen at the President’s Convocation, held in Matthews Arena. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Fall Fest, a campus-wide fair to help new students get involved and make friends through various university organizations, club sports, and other offices and departments, will also take place on Monday. It will be split into two time blocks, with the first taking place from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT, and the second taking place from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Ahead of the morning ceremony, British philosopher A.C. Grayling will offer remarks to Northeastern’s London students, and Mario Arvelo, Ambassador from the Dominican Republic to the Rome-based United Nations, will speak to students in Rome.   

Both the morning and the afternoon ceremony will also feature the annual lighting of the torch, officially inducting all new students to the campus community. Rome students will join in on the torch illuminating ritual during the first ceremony via video-conference after the digital flagshow, and London students will be patched in during the afternoon event. 

In a moment of shared welcome, the student assemblies in Rome and London will be lighting their own torches during each respective ceremony.

Following tradition, Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, joined by university leaders, including every college dean, as well as Casey Buttke, president of the Student Government Association, will offer remarks to the new students at both ceremonies. 

A string of ensemble performances, followed by a closing number, which this year will be John Legend’s “If You’re Out There,” will conclude the events. 

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

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