APSU’s freshman class officially began their semester at the freshman convocation Friday Aug. 23. Tim Hall, APSU President, welcomed the students not only as the freshman class of 2013 but also as the graduating class of 2017 by telling students to envision the day that they will graduate in the Dunn Center.

President Hall also praised APSU for being in The Chronicle for Higher Education’s list of great colleges to work for in 2012 and for being mentioned by President Obama for creating Degree Compass.

SGA president Mike Rainier spoke about the importance of students getting mentors, creating relationships, and becoming involved on campus.

“The speeches were encouraging and also really honest,” Clarissa Pulley, peer mentor, said of the convocation.

Alumni Shan Smith spoke and Dr. Sherryl Byrd told students that “one out of three” of them “statistically won’t be here next year.” Byrd also said that she wants this year’s freshman class to lower that number.

Kelsey Smith led students in saying the creed while Erin E. Keas sang the alma mater. Jaime Taylor, Interim Provost, offered students a word of closing and final encouragements.

Students were then led to the Foy Fitness Center where they participated in the Playfair, an event targeted towards breaking the ice of the new freshman class.

“The students seemed eager and a little bit nervous at first,” Pulley went on to say, “but definitely more relaxed towards the end.”

Afterwards, the class was separated into different groups to eat lunch and meet with their APSU 1000 class.

“It was really cool to meet the people we’ll be seeing this whole semester,” freshman Tabitha Montague said.

Annie Hall, freshman and communications major, described the students she interacted with as “nice, bright, and eager to learn.” She went on to say that “there’s not one staff member I’ve met that I don’t like.”