Students kick off fall 2021 at Convocation

Published: August 23, 2021

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Convocation is the annual kick-off to the academic year for Auburn first-year and transfer students. In a break from tradition, all students were invited to attend this year’s celebration inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, where the experienced a gameday-like atmosphere the night before classes began.

Since first and second-year students were unable to participate in a traditional Camp War Eagle session, Convocation was moved from Auburn Arena, the event’s usual venue, to the stadium. The location change provided the opportunity for attendees to participate in a Camp War Eagle-style pep rally.

“We were excited to re-engage all students in the Auburn student experience, not just first-year students,” Brad Smith, director of Student Involvement and chair of Convocation, said.

7,500 students were in attendance to celebrate the start of the 2021 fall semester.

Students were able to use their new mobile Tiger Card to enter an event for the first time. The contactless technology will also be utilized on gamedays, and using the mobile card to enter Convocation allowed students to become familiar with the new process for entering the stadium.

Convocation also marks the start of the First 56, an initiative that introduces students to university resources and encourages them to develop healthy behaviors during a critical time when habits are formed—the first 56 days on campus.

“We want students to be successful in the classroom, engage with their fellow classmates and make healthy decisions,” Eric Smith, director of Health Promotion & Wellness Services and Convocation co-host, said. “Auburn University is such a great opportunity, and we want folks to have the best possible experience they can. The First 56 gives us all common framework, just like the Auburn Creed, to rally around.”

Special guests in attendance included President Jay Gogue, Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Bobby R. Woodard, football head coach Bryan Harsin, men’s basketball head coach Bruce Pearl, baseball head coach Butch Thompson, Aubie and fan favorite The Nun. Miss Auburn Caroline Keim co-hosted Convocation alongside Smith.

Students enjoyed performances by the Auburn University Marching Band, cheerleaders and Tiger Paws. Auburn’s Mic Man led students in learning the chants and cheers of Auburn, which included some students being able to experience their first eagle flight in the stadium.

“Simply put, it was electric,” Smith said when describing what it was like to see students participating at Convocation.

The night concluded with students singing Auburn’s alma mater and a fireworks show.

Submitted by: Payton Beck