Convocation 2012 Student Welcome

On Friday, August 24, Champlain College President David Finney welcomed the College community to the 134th Opening Convocation. He spoke to 607 incoming first-year students in the Class of 2016, advising them to "be the change," or at least begin the process of deciding what type of change appeals to them. This decision would determine the path they will take in their journey at Champlain.

The academic welcome at Convocation included Assistant Professor David Mona, the 2003-05 Edward Phelps Lyman Professorship recipient for great teaching, Mr. Winthrop Smith, Champlain's 2012 Distinguished Citizen honoree, and student welcome from Adam Rowe '14, President of the Student Government Association. President Finney introduced Rowe as, "a junior Marking Major from Meriden, Connecticut, which makes him a flatlander for all of those new to Vermont." Rowe currently works at Stowe Mountain Resort, and hopes, after graduation, to someday work at one of Vermont's ski resorts as a marketing director. Here is what Adam had to say to the class of 2016:


Congratulations to the class of 2016! As President of the Student Government Association, I would like to officially welcome you to Champlain on behalf of the entire student body.

As President Finney mentioned, I am originally from Meriden, Connecticut; however Burlington, Vermont is now my home. Standing here, now going into my third year, I look back and realize that coming to Champlain and Burlington has been one of the best decisions that I could have made. Many of you will soon realize why I say that and I hope that you all take full advantage of all that the Queen City has to offer.

Champlain is more than a college, it is a community and it is a family. You are all now officially members of the Champlain community and will soon enough become each other's family. As members of this community, I urge you all to become involved in some of the great activities that Champlain has to offer. At Champlain, we have over 30 clubs and countless opportunities that enable you to take advantage of all that Vermont has to offer. If we do not offer a club that you are interested in, you can easily start it and the SGA will be more than happy to help you along the way.

What is truly remarkable about Champlain is that it is always evolving, just as you will over the next four years. We are looking towards the future and the college will continue to evolve until it is the finest, small higher education institution in the country. The landscape around you will continue to change however one variable remains the same. Here at Champlain, you are the number one priority. Champlain may have stunning buildings, beautiful grounds, great academics, and pretty remarkable food, but in the end, the students are the number one priority and you are truly cared about. If you have any concerns, problems, suggestions, or just want to talk, there will always be someone there for you to reach out to. Whether it's your peer advisor, faculty advisor, upperclassmen, or another professor, someone will always be there to help. That is what makes Champlain such a great community. I must say that it is unheard of how well you get to know your professors at Champlain. I truly urge you all to get to know your professors and learn to utilize the outstanding skills they each possess. They will be your greatest ally throughout your four years.

Before I leave you I must inform you of some of the most useful information that I have gathered thus far here at Champlain. If the word "wicked" is not in your vocabulary yet, it will be. Creemees for you flatlanders is a soft serve cone, and who has the best maple creemee may be one of the biggest debated things in Burlington. Mr. Mikes and KKD may become a part of your weekly food intake, however, the walk up and down the hill to downtown will help you avoid gaining the freshmen 15. You may not love everyone in your residence hall, but three years later I look into this audience and see some of my best friends from my freshmen year in Rowell Hall. Oh and one last thing, it is Vermont after all and most of us have yet to see Champlain close for a snow day, so don't get your hopes up!

Once again welcome to the Champlain community. The Student Government association is here for you. We are an email or office visit away and will work to help you in any way that we can. I look forward to getting to know you throughout the year and wish you the best of luck as you begin the best 4 years of your life.

Welcome to Champlain College, class of 2016.

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit