Lakewood, N.J., August 25, 2018—Georgian Court University officially kicks off the new academic term with this year’s convocation, which takes place Thursday, August 30 at 2:30 p.m. in GCU’s Wellness Center. The annual ceremony marks a “calling together” of the university community where new students are welcomed to GCU and returning honor students receive accolades.
The event is free and open to the public, including parents and friends. In addition to welcoming incoming first-year and transfer students, convocation is also an opportunity to honor the faculty who deliver lasting experiences—inside the classroom and beyond.That’s one of the messages participants will hear from university officials and from featured alumni speaker Mariah Iapicco ’13 ’19, who has served students as a teacher in Arizona through the Mercy Volunteer Corps and as a local educator and softball coach.
“Our students are our raison d’être,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. “They are why we do what we do—from faculty to administrators to support staff to alumni and donors. Our academic mission revolves around our students, and we work hard to make sure they have an exceptional student experience.”
Convocation: A time to celebrate
Faculty are heavily invested in student success, as demonstrated by featured speaker Claire Gallagher, Ph.D. The GCU professor serves in the School of Education and will be presented with the 2018 Virginia Graham ’31 Award for Teaching Excellence. Each year, the honor is given to an outstanding faculty member at GCU’s spring commencement ceremony, and the honoree delivers the keynote address for fall convocation.
Dr. Gallagher, who has a background in both education and architecture, is an expert on several issues, including classroom design and student-centered learning. She also is a fierce advocate for learning through science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). In addition to teaching at GCU, she also works closely with elementary school educators to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards in their classrooms.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for nearly 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 30+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. In 2017, GCU was named #39 on Washington Monthly’s list of Best Bang for the Buck schools. GCU has also been recognized by The Economist and Colleges of Distinction and is a Military Friendly® School. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.