Medallions serve as motivation at New Student Convocation Ceremony

image of medallions for new student convocation ceremony

BUIES CREEK – Rashida Parker says it’ll motivate her. Jaszlyn Jenkins says she’ll treasure it.  And Matthew Formyduval says it reminds him of home.

All three are entering freshmen at Campbell University who attended the New Student Convocation Ceremony Sunday at the John W. Pope Convocation Center and who received, alongside other first-year students, a medallion to mark the beginning of their Campbell experience and to welcome them to the university.

It’s the ninth year in a row that Campbell’s New Student Convocation has included the presentation of the medallions, which are pressed with the university seal and the year the students began their journey at Campbell. When classes for the fall 2012 semester begin Tuesday, there will be some 1,080 new students, including 896 first-time freshmen.

 “For me the medallion symbolizes the beginning of a new chapter of our lives, starting college, and it’ll be something to motivate us to get us through the years,” said Parker, a Chapel Hill native who chose to attend Campbell because she was interested in its College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

For Jenkins, she’ll turn to the medallion to help her stay focused.

“I’m pretty far away from home,” said Jenkins, who is from Kansas City, Mo., and who will run track at Campbell. “The medallion is a treasure that will help me get through school and finish.”

Formyduval, a pre-pharmacy student, said the medallion reminded of his hometown of Clarkton.

“I love the campus; it’s a small town, like where I’m from,” he said. “The medallion is like a tradition, and it’s a good way to get people involved and to begin to feel good about their experience here.” 

In his message to incoming students during convocation, Campbell President Jerry Wallace said the medallion is “our way of saying that we are committed to making this the best possible place for you.

“We hope you will leave here better people,” he added. “Also, I hope you will be so well prepared that you will find yourself in a professional world, a vocational world, in such a way that you will succeed in good things for yourself and good things for others.”

Kay Autry, a parent who attended the ceremony, said she hopes her daughter Elizabeth cherishes the medallion for the rest of her life.

“It’s like a diploma – a reminder of where you come from and also of your potential.”


“You are about to embark on the best years of your life. If I had to give you one piece of advice, I would tell you to get to know your professors. They will definitely challenge you. They will expand your horizons. They will provide you with a strong academic background. They will prepare you for the extremely competitive workplace or professional studies. But they will be a lifelong resource that you can fall back on. You will remember them for the rest of your life.”

–  Campbell alumna Lee Ann Eldridge Spahr ’77, one of the featured speakers at Convocation, who retired this year from Durham Technical Community College as chair of the mathematics department.

 “Whether you stay here for four years for your undergraduate or stay longer to pursue your MBA degree, law school, pharmacy school, medical school, or many of the other graduate programs that Campbell has to offer, on [your graduation day], you’ll look back on it and it’ll seem like you were just starting yesterday. What you do with your time here at Campbell will affect you for the rest of your life … Go to class. Get to know your professors. Be involved on campus. Make your time at Campbell what you want to make it.”

– Brandon Hudson, a senior at Campbell and executive president of the Student Government Association who spoke at the New Student Convocation

“You are coming in the midst of a very important year here at Campbell. We continue to celebrate our 125th year as a school, college and university. I hope you will enjoy those marks and celebrations as we look and give Thanksgiving to God for another 125 years.”

– Campbell President Jerry Wallace

Do this, not that: Advice to freshmen

We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to offer advice to Campbell University’s Class of 2016. Here are a handful of the nearly 45 responses we received:

“The cheese sauce makes anything edible; and when in doubt in the cafeteria, have waffles and ice cream for dinner!”—Keena Lindsay

“Don’t trip on the bricks.”—Brittany Lee

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help!”—Judy Smythe Tunstall

“Put due dates on a calendar and check it!”—Maureen Elias

“Watch out….The showers will scorch you when someone flushes the toilet.”—Drake Strong

“Don’t take for granted the impact your grades from freshman and sophomore years will impact your GPA! Do your best, make time for fun, and enjoy being young!”—Yvonne Lum

“Get involved. Meet new people. Invest in friendships. Make your studies a priority, but remember some of the most important learning experiences will happen outside of the classroom. Use the time to develop yourself academically, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.”—Greg Heath

“ Make the most of your time and youth. It will go by very quickly! Study, pray, socialize, make new friends, be nice, and do your best. You are fortunate to have the opportunity to attend such a fine university. Make it and your parents proud.”—Bonnie Woods

“Realize that this place is practically heaven, and despite what your friends think, NOTHING beats the Creek!”—Jonathon Shattuck

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6” – John Rehder