Students celebrate new beginnings at Convocation

Brandon Arcari, Breaking News Assistant Editor

UVM’s class of 2021 comes to the University at a point of transition and with many new changes—new academic buildings and housing programming among them.

At Sunday night’s convocation ceremony, speakers welcomed new students and structural changes.

The class of 2021, comprised of 2,640 students, is the most diverse in UVM’s history, with 17 percent students of color, according to the University’s website.

This class is also the first to experience UVM’s Catamount Commitment program, which supports Pell Grant eligible Vermonters by paying for a UVM education in its entirety, according to the University website.

Dean of Students Annie Stevens addressed the group, saying to students, “best of luck in your four years at UVM—make it worthwhile.”

Representing 47 states and 25 countries, the class of 2021 is composed of 14 percent first-generation college students and is one of the most selective classes in UVM’s history, according to UVM’s website.

“As the most qualified class we’ve ever had, we have high expectations for the class of 2021 and we’d like to welcome them to the community,” said senior and SGA President Chris Petrillo.

Students walked in a procession down Main Street and lit candles on the Waterman Green in the convocation ceremony and the twilight induction ceremony.

First-year Earl Humes called convocation “fabulous and sensational.”

“If tonight is any kind of indication, they’re going to have a great four years,” crime prevention Officer Sue Roberts said. “I hope they use this positive energy this year.”

The class will be the first to live in the new Central Campus residence hall, and is the first class to be entirely grouped into Learning Communities at UVM. These include the Wellness Environment, Sustainability, the Honors College and the Arts Initiative.

Discovery Hall, UVM’s newest academic building, is also new to the University. The building, which will replace the Cook Physical Sciences building, will house laboratory sciences, according to UVM’s campus construction website.

Meanwhile, renovations are underway at Billings Library to house the special collections from Bailey/Howe Library and ground has been broken on the next portion of the STEM complex, Innovation Hall.

The class will also see construction on Ifshin Hall, as part of a plan to grow the Grossman Business school.

“I think this is a really vibrant group of people and I’m really excited to see where they go,” said sophomore Scarlett Moore, a resident adviser.