Merrimack College Officially Welcomes Largest Incoming Class

More than 1,190 incoming undergraduate students attended Convocation, held for the first time on Sullivan Quad, marking the official start of the 2022-23 academic year.
Man giving a speech in front of an audience.
Convocation for the 2022-23 academic year.

Staged in the picturesque heart of campus, Merrimack College kicked off the 2022-23 academic year and welcomed the largest incoming class in the College’s history.

More than 1,500 people attended Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 1, held for the first time on Sullivan Quad. Convocation officially marks the start of the academic year and is the official welcome to the more than 1,190 incoming undergraduate students joining the Warrior community this fall. Merrimack’s seniors also attend Convocation, wearing the same black gowns they will wear at Commencement in May.

“At Merrimack, the pursuit of knowledge through truth is done in fellowship with one another,” Merrimack President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., told the students. “You are never alone in the Merrimack community. It’s not allowed. At Merrimack, we won’t walk in your shoes, but we will walk next to you.”

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs John “Sean” Condon, Ph.D., encouraged new students to take full advantage of the academic, social, and service opportunities now available to them.

“By continuously trying and experimenting and exploring, you will learn more about yourself and the world around you,” Condon said. “This is the core of Merrimack’s community of learners.”

This year’s Convocation speaker was Lynn Lyons, LICSW, a psychotherapist, author, and speaker who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults and children. In addition to writing for publications including The New York Times and NPR, she has authored several books and co-hosts a podcast on the subject. Lyons has a particular interest in breaking the generational cycle of worry in families.

“You and your age group are prime models of neuroplasticity,” Lyons said. “Your brain is designed to make new connections and build new pathways. But it can also get stuck in rigid and negative ones. Pay attention to the pathways you build.”

Convocation is part of a week-long celebration to mark the beginning of the academic year, including Mass of the Holy Spirit, the Student Involvement Fair and the football season opener against Holy Cross.

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