Volunteer spotlight: Welcoming new students to campus
By Steve Seepersaud
The energy was electric inside the Events Center on Aug. 30, as members of the Class of 2016 attended Convocation. This event, which welcomes new students to the campus community, was also an occasion for alumni to get involved and reach out to the new students.
Ravi Gupta '05, a recipient of the University Medal and leader of a team that founded Nashville (Tenn.) Prep Charter School, volunteered to serve as the keynote speaker. He advised members of the entering class to make the most of their on-campus learning experience.
"If you're 100 percent set on going to law school, take a bio class," he said. "If dancing gives you hives, take a salsa class."
Gupta, who worked as a special assistant to David Axelrod, chief strategist for the Obama for America campaign, told the students that it's important to be good professionals and good citizens.
"Never let your skills exceed your virtue," Gupta said, referring to scandals that have brought down several big-name politicians in recent years. "What will you do when your superior asks you to cross the line, or when you are the only one with the courage to do what is right? My journey from where you are now to where I am now has taught me the importance of character."
After the formal program, the Alumni Association gave out "Class of 2016 - Bearcat for Life" T-shirts to the freshmen and provided a class banner for them to sign. Both stations at the Events Center were jammed with people for nearly an hour.
"It was fun seeing the excitement and a little fear in the faces of the new students," said Paul Jacobson '77, who volunteered to give T-shirts to the students. "The event was a good way to welcome them to Binghamton, and ease them into their new surroundings. I could already see the new friendships starting to form."
"I could feel the energy in the air as a new wave of talented scholars began a journey they will remember for the rest of their lives, said Peter Karris '12, who also staffed the T-shirt area. "I volunteered because I wanted to be part of that journey. It was a pleasure to serve the student body and give back to the University that has helped me grow and mold me into the person I am today."
BE ENGAGED - MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Learn more about how you can make an impact as an alumni volunteer. We have a number of ways you can be involved; we are certain you will find at least one that matches your talents and interests.