As the last students from the Northeast moved into the Boston campus and said goodbye to their parents on Monday, the stage was already set for President Joseph E. Aoun to officially launch the 2022-23 school year during the convocation. of Tuesday.
More than 3,100 freshmen and transfer students will gather at Matthews Arena on the Boston campus at 11 a.m. Tuesday for Convocation, which will also be broadcast live here and at Northeastern’s global campuses. The hour-long program includes guest speakers, live student performances, traditional Northeast torch lighting, and more.
Northeastern’s Executive Director of Creative Experience and Digital Engagement, Leila Eid, is responsible for ensuring the convening goes off without a hitch. One can then wonder how she manages to remain so calm.
“We have a good team here,” she said Monday, as the singers tested the sound system with a rendition of Happy Birthday.
When asked what it takes to organize an event like this, Eid replied, “Time, people and coffee.” Starting last Thursday, about 50 Northeast employees were tasked with setting up the space and unloading rigging and lighting from the trucks. Their hard work paid off: more than 24 hours before the President took the stage, all the video screens and chairs were set up, along with a brand new feature for this year’s event: a parade.
“Every year we try to change it, reinvent it, make it new and fresh,” Eid said. This year’s convocation features an interactive light show that will engage all campuses in a truly global event.
On the other side of the Boston campus, Monday students settled in and prepared for the first day of class. Volunteers wearing red t-shirts continued to help students move in and direct them to other areas of campus. New students came and went on trips, including streetcar tours around Boston, New England Aquarium tours, Freedom Trail tours, and a tour of Fenway Park.
Transfer student Lizzie Perez moved into her dorm last week with the help of her parents and took the opportunity to visit her new town.
“I went out to the aquarium yesterday with a few people and then we went for a walk,” the Chicago native said. “I am delighted to continue to do everything here. It’s a good city. She said she was looking forward to taking the streetcar tour of Boston and checking out Trash2Treasure, where students donate items like lamps and mini-fridges to buy.
Parents like Lizzie’s were still on campus after helping with the move, but with classes due to start in just two days, they were preparing to say goodbye.
Maryan Costa helped her daughter Natalie move into White Hall on Sunday, in what Maryan called a “seamless” process. “All the parents were screaming how awesome it was, it’s so effective,” she said.
They had breakfast on Monday and Natalie hopped on the cart for a real tour of Boston while her parents shopped for t-shirts at the Northeastern bookstore.
Maryan, who lives in Maryland, said she was sad to say goodbye to her only child. At the same time, she says, “it’s the school of her dreams.”
Northeast bookstore manager Gretchen Suarez has seen plenty of parents like Maryan over the past two weeks.
“It’s a particularly busy time; it’s one of the busiest days of the year,” she said. Students shop for course books and school supplies, and parents come in for what Suarez calls “the usual suspects”: Northeastern brand t-shirts and sweatshirts.
Suarez said parents and families often use the bookstore as a meeting point and parents visit while their children are doing other things. A mother spent time in the bookstore on Monday waiting for her son to wake up; Suarez was more than happy to help kill time.
“We really want it to be a place where people can come and hang out,” she said.
The rush for parents will die down on Tuesday when President Aoun officially kicks off the fall semester.
Freshmen and transfer students will meet for convocation at Carter Field at 9:45 a.m.; Students from the College of Engineering or the College Bouvé of Health Sciences will arrive directly from the reception of their college.
Fall Fest will begin immediately after convocation and will run from noon to 3:30 p.m. Students are invited to explore campus, learn about student organizations, and enjoy food, music, and giveaways.
In Oakland, Welcome Week ends on Tuesday with the live broadcast of President Aoun’s speech and a traditional President’s Luncheon. Oakland students are then invited to dine at food trucks and enjoy DJ Davey Cook’s Samba Funk.
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