Convocation Book

Welcome to the Convocation Program Information Site

Georgia College's convocation experiences are designed to provide a common undertaking for incoming students, to enhance participation in the intellectual life of the campus through stimulating discussion and critical thinking around a universal or current topic and to encourage a sense of community between students, faculty and staff. By participating in the convocation experience over the summer, students will arrive on campus prepared to engage in discussions that create a community of learners.

The convocation experience seeks to aid with the creation of a living-learning community that supports the successful transition of new students to the university culture. Program components support students in their personal, academic and leadership development. Furthermore, the convocation experience reinforces the university’s student-centered environment and enhances student engagement by encouraging students to engage with and contribute to the Georgia College community, reflect upon their own personal identity within the context of our campus and begin practicing the values of “Reason, Respect and Responsibility.”

2016 Convocation Experience and Theme

In preparation for Fall 2016, all first-year students will read This I Believe, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman. Each incoming first-year student will receive a copy of the book during summer orientation, with the expectation that it be read before returning in August. By reading the book over the summer, students will arrive on campus prepared to engage in discussions using the book as a springboard to introduce critical thinking and begin the first steps toward creating a community of learners by encouraging all students to join in and be part of the discussions during the Week of Welcome.

This year's First Year Convocation will be a bookend to Commencement, and is GC's official welcome for all first-year students. We will celebrate the Class of 2020 by convening all 1,430 members of the class on the morning of August 12th to help realize their identity as a class and, at the same time, remind them of the privileges and responsibilities associated with their place in the Georgia College community.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Georgia College!

Based on the NPR series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty Americans―from the famous to the unknown―completing the thought that the book's title begins. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.

Featuring many renowned contributors―including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, and John Updike―the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells yellow pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on Rhode Island's parole board.

The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs―and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them―reveal the American spirit at its best.

Taken from Amazon.com

 

This I Believe, Inc., was founded in 2004 as an independent, not-for-profit organization that engages youth and adults from all walks of life in writing, sharing, and discussing brief essays about the core values that guide their daily lives.

This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division.

In reviving This I Believe, executive producer Dan Gediman said, “The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.”

Selected contemporary This I Believe essays were featured in regular broadcasts on National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States from 2005 to 2009, in a series produced and hosted by Jay Allison. Essays were then featured from 2009-2014 in weekly broadcasts on satellite and public radio shows hosted by Bob Edwards. Essays are currently heard on the weekly This I Believe Podcast. In addition, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired essays from Canadians in 2007. In 2005 and 2006, USA Weekend invited its readers to participate in our project and published selected essays from their readers. And numerous local public radio stations, newspapers, and magazines have featured essays from citizens in their communities.

This I Believe, Inc., in partnership with Henry Holt and Company, published two books collecting essays featured in the NPR series. The first book, This I Believe, was published in 2006 and became a New York Times bestseller in paperback, while the second volume, This I Believe II, was published in 2008. In addition to collecting these essays for posterity, the books have become popular as common readers at colleges and universities and with “one book, one community” projects. In partnership with publisher John Wiley & Sons, This I Believe published another series of books, each on a particular theme: This I Believe: On Love (2010), This I Believe: On Fatherhood (2011), This I Believe: Life Lessons (2011), and This I Believe: On Motherhood (2012). In 2013, This I Believe debuted a new set of books built around essays from a particular city or state, beginning with This I Believe: Kentucky. Other regional books in the works are This I Believe: Philadelphia and This I Believe: New York City.

Teachers around the country—and around the world—have embraced This I Believe as a powerful educational tool. They have downloaded our educational curricula, posters, and brochures for using This I Believe in middle and high school classrooms and in college courses. These curricula help teachers guide students through exploring their beliefs and then composing personal essays about them. The students learn about themselves and their peers, and experience the delight of realizing their views and voices have value.

Source: http://thisibelieve.org/about/

 

As you read, we would like to encourage you to spend time in reflection on the following:

  • Which essay did you like the best?
  • Which essay did you like least?
  • Which essay did you find most surprising?
  • Which essay inspired you the most?
  • Which essay challenged your beliefs?
  • Which essay most resembles your own view of the world?
  • After reading these essays, what will you no longer take for granted?
  • Which three essays would you recommend for discussion in your first-year seminar?
  • If you were to add your own essay to this collection, what belief of yours would you write about?