Grove City College ushered in the academic year Wednesday with Opening Convocation, a ceremony steeped in tradition that serves as a formal welcome to new students and an opportunity to inspire the campus community in the year ahead.
Opening with a trumpet fanfare by members of the Grove City College Wolverine Marching Band and the procession of faculty in full regalia, the service in Harbison Chapel featured hymns, scripture, prayer and an address by College President Paul J. McNulty ’80.
Amid the anticipation all on campus feel about the start of a new year, McNulty spoke about the integrity of Grove City College’s Christ-centeredness, which is both “a description and a destination.” The whirl of classes, sports, and other extra-curriculars – and ever present phones – can create a distraction, he said, from “our most important commitments and focus of attention.”
“It is an exciting time of the year because we are filled with anticipation of all the tremendous opportunities, great classes, interesting projects, transformative experiences and adventures, amazing performances, exciting competitions – go Wolverines – and generally lots of fun. It is an incredible environment. There is so much that commands our attention and consumes our energies,” he said.
“At Grove City College, we must remember that Christ remains at the center of all of our endeavors … Our primary calling is to set our minds on the things that are above not on the things on Earth,” he said, citing Colossians 3:2. “What should excite us most about this new year? What should set our hearts aflame? … The word of God.”
McNulty urged students to listen to that word in Chapel, classes, and at every opportunity. “This is a unique moment in life to have that happen. Give it a chance. Have your hearts aflame. Put aside the distractions. Seek to experience genuine joy and astonishment in learning about God’s truth as it is revealed in the Bible and all of his creation. Marvel at all the connections and insights and discoveries … and how everything we learn can be for the glory of God and a manifestation of his truth.”
Dr. Peter Frank, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, encouraged students to focus their attention on God as they begin their studies under the College’s renowned faculty and scholars. “Our goal here at Grove City College is to engage your mind body and soul to pursue your God-ordained calling,” Frank said.
Dr. John Inman, vice president for Institutional Support, welcomed the freshmen class, transfer, and other new students. The 570-strong Class of 2027 comes from 34 states and 11 countries, Inman said.