After a century of operation, Bakersfield College has plenty of fabulous long-standing traditions. But despite the pride of honoring BC’s storied past, it can often be just as rewarding to begin new traditions of own.
With that in mind, we held the inaugural Bakersfield College New Student Convocation last Thursday evening (August 20) in the Outdoor Theater.
The festivities began for the newest Renegades with a warm campus welcome, a student organization and department resource fair, and a full-plated dinner served by our dedicated faculty and staff. I loved walking to the outdoor theater after fall Opening Day to see the food servers (Victor Diaz, Steve Watkin, Corny Rodriguez, Dena Rhodes, Danell Ward, Lesley Bonds, Stephen Tavoni, Debi Anderson, Keri Kennedy, Todd Coston, Liz Rozell, Chris Glaser, Kimberly Bligh, Bobby Bligh, Tom Gelder, Dana Gelder, Manuel Rosas, Charles Kim, Junioe Menchaca, Josie Guillen, Nannette Gonzales, Jo Ann Acosta, Debra Strong, Vicky Coffee, Jackie Lau ….. just to name a few) having a great time serving our students.
The official convocation ceremony kicked off at exactly 7:13 p.m. (19:13 in military time, symbolizing the year BC was founded) as our Renegade mascot marched down to the stage and rang the ceremonial gong. Nicky Damania mentioned this to me and asked that I include this in my opening remarks.
The vibration of the gong symbolizes the beginning of our incoming students’ academic journey — and if they each work hard, they’ll hear the gong sound once again in their honor in the Counseling Center once they’re confirmed for graduation.
The program continued on with a faculty and staff processional, a riveting performance from our BC Drumline led by BC Band Director Tim Heasley, and a beautiful rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by our world-renowned BC Chamber Singers (directed by Dr. Jennifer Garrett). Jen, you and our choir students had me in tears.
Remarks and oaths were then administered for the varied groups in attendance: Academic Senate President Dr. Steven Holmes to our BC faculty and staff, Dean of Precollegiate and Student Success Dr. Janet Fulks to families and supporters, and BCSGA President Clayton Fowler to our student Renegades.
Francis Mayer as the MC was phenomenal. The guys is just super talented. Kinda like a Jerry Seinfeld.
Between students, families, guests, faculty, and staff, we had well over 900 people on hand. I want to give a special thank you to Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky Damania, Student Success Program Manager Karla Young and the entire New Student Convocation Committee for making this special ceremony happen.
You can see all the images from this special evening in our Bakersfield College Smugmug gallery here.
May the energy and excitement of this spirited event continue throughout the academic year!
We Are BC!