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.”

2015 Convocation Experience and Theme

In preparation for Fall 2015, all first-year students will read The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. 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.

As a part of this year's program, Georgia College is preparing a new experience. 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 2019 by convening all 1,430 members of the class 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!

Update: Convocation 2015

Georgia College's Convocation Recap video 

Transcript of the Convocation Keynote Address by Dr. Carolyn Denard

Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

"The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his."

Taken from


Online Supporting Material

Ina Dillard Russell Library:
Convocation Experience LibGuide
Official Webpage:
Official trailer:
Author's Blog:

Other Related Books  

Davis, Sampson. Living and Dying in Brick City.
(Spiegel & Grau, 2013). Print.
Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson. This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President
(Harper, 2009). Print. 
Rideau, Wilbert. In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance.
(Knopf, 2010). Print.
Hauser, Brooke. The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens.
(Free Press, 2011). Print.
Kozol, Jonathan. Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America.
(Crown, 2012). Print.
Williams, Precious. Color Blind: A Memoir.
(Bloomsbury USA, 2010). Print.
Potok, Chaim, Slepak, Leonid, Slepak, Vladimir. The Gates of November.
(Ballantine Books, 1997). Print.



As the author is drawn into the story about another man with similar life circumstances, he begins to examine what makes this man different than him. By exploring and examining the other man's life, he also examines himself to see what has made him different than the "other."


The role of poverty is an important factor in the examination of the differences between the author and the "other" Wes Moore. Its influence and the effects it brings are evident in the events of the book.



The influences (both for good and for bad) are highlighted as the author examines the differences between himself and the "other." The examination of family takes into account both economic and emotional factors and how they affect each man.


The author uses the examination of both his and the "other's" lives to encourage perseverance. His message is that even with the most difficult of beginnings, it is possible to persevere and overcome obstacles to success in life.


Online Resources

The Other Wes Moore Reader's Guide (via Random House)

Call For Circle Leaders

Would you be willing to volunteer as a circle leader?  There will be optional discussion sessions during the summer. Please send a brief e-mail to Dr. Andy Lewter ( to acknowledge your willingness to participate if you are interested in volunteering to be a circle leader.

Submit Events

There are several ways to be involved with the Convocation Experience: events during the Week of Welcome, events held throughout the academic year, or recommending future events and/or books.

Week of Welcome
To offer an activity during WOW, contact Tom Miles (

Academic Year
To offer an activity during the academic year, contact Dr. Elaine Whitaker ( 

Future Events
To recommend future Convocation Books, Convocation Experiences, or to serve on the Convocation Experience committee, contact the current committee through Dr. Elaine Whitaker (