The University of Idaho welcomed back students and faculty as well as new class of freshman August 17 during its 2012 convocation ceremonies. The central theme resonated with everyone present, anything is possible with a University of Idaho education.
New student body president Hannah Davis welcomed students and introduced the 17th President of the University, M. Duane Nellis. Nellis reinforced that today's convocation - the University's first fall convocation - was an opportunity to demonstrate "our commitment to our Morrill Act Legacy." The University of Idaho recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which established the nation's network of land-grant universities focused on public service, with a statewide tour. The University leads in research and agricultural activities through the state, bettering the lives of Idahoans.
The keynote speaker, George P. Bush, gave simple but profound pieces of advice to students. Among those were, "Don't be a spectator, get on the field." The metaphor appropriately referred to the recent success of Olympic athletes, including Kristin Armstrong - a University alumna and gold medal recepient in the women's time trial cycling event. He also counseled students to "get a passport," as traveling the world will broaden your perspectives and shape your character unlike any other activity.
His final piece of advice received a sincere chuckle from the audience, "Go to class." Perhaps no other piece of advice than commitment and time management is critical the first day of class, when the enthusiasm for success is high but can be will be challenged throughout the year. Fortunately, University of Idaho students are among the best in the state.
In Bush's final words: "Onward and upward Vandals!"