Convocation marks new academic year at UW Tacoma

University of Washington Tacoma will begin its 23rd year of academic instruction and community engagement this week with a convocation...

University of Washington Tacoma will begin its 23rd year of academic instruction and community engagement this week with a convocation to welcome new and returning students back to campus for the start of the academic year.

Convocation begins on Fri., Sept. 27 with a processional of students, families, faculty, staff and alumni. Accompanied by musicians, the crowds will follow four different routes through downtown to the center of campus, representing the strong connections between the local community and the university.

Convocation, which will be held between 1:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., is open to the public. Register online at tacoma.uw.edu/convocation. Community members are welcome to join the processional along any of the four routes. Everyone who participates is encouraged to wear purple and gold to celebrate UW Tacoma’s Husky spirit. The parade will be followed by a brief welcome from Chancellor Debra Friedman and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and a campus fair featuring Tacoma businesses and nonprofit organizations. The four routes, their starting points, and the academic programs associated with each route include the following:

  • Broadway Center (1.1 mile walk to campus) — Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
  • KeyBank (.87 miles) — Education; Milgard School of Business
  • McCarver Elementary (.7 miles) — pre-majors; Social Work; Urban Studies; the Library
  • Tacoma Art Museum (.34 miles) — Global Honors; Institute of Technology; Nursing & Healthcare Leadership

Welcoming remarks will begin at 2:30 p.m. on the staircase in the center of campus. The community fair begins at 3 p.m. Downtown Tacoma museums, retailers, food trucks and more will be at the fair, with products available to sample or buy.

“Our convocation reflects UW Tacoma’s mission to work in concert with our community in all things, including welcoming our new students,” said Chancellor Friedman. “By symbolically starting their journey to campus from four of our closest partners, students will begin to understand that the whole community is committed to helping them achieve their educational dreams.”

The number of students attending UW Tacoma continues to increase. Preliminary figures show more than 4,200 total students will be enrolled for autumn 2013. More than 550 of those will be working on graduate-level degrees and the rest are pursuing bachelor-level studies. For the eighth year, the campus will admit first-year freshmen students — about 450 of them, the largest first-year class in UW Tacoma history. Enrollment figures are not considered final until 10 days after the academic quarter begins, and are subject to change as students continue to register until the first day of classes.

This year, reflecting the success of the new Pathways to Promise program, there is a substantial increase in the number of students planning to attend UW Tacoma from Tacoma high schools. The number of applications to UW Tacoma from Mount Tahoma, Lincoln, Wilson and Stadium High Schools increased 72 per cent from 2012. Pathways to Promise is a comprehensive partnership with school districts that builds awareness amongst K-12 students and their families of college options and the benefits of a college education.

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