Opening Convocation Celebrates Start of 2015-16 Academic Year

La Branche

LOUISBURG, N.C. - Boasting its largest student enrollment in more than a decade, Louisburg College formally opened the 2015-16 academic year Tuesday, August 25 with Fall Convocation in the Jones Performing Arts Center. A total of 720 students are enrolled this year, including 418 new students.

Dr. Jim Eck, provost, welcomed students and encouraged them to become actively engaged in their studies. "Learning cannot take place unless you, the student, play the starring role...Your education requires all of the grit and determination you can muster. And it will be well worth it, because the education that has liberated you becomes the thing that you take with you."

Josh Parrot, assistant professor of religion and faculty senate chair, told students their education at Louisburg should include an evaluation of their priorities and reflection on their personal identities. "Let your time with us be characterized by courage, empathy and honesty."

During the convocation address, President Mark La Branche shared images from his summer trip to Rwanda with ZOE, an organization that helps orphaned and exploited children. By listening to their individual stories, La Branche said, he and others in his traveling party were able to build relationships with the children and work together to find solutions to their problems. Everyone's story is important, LaBranche told students, and listening to those stories matters.

"Your life is part of a story, and we want to hear your stories here," La Branche said. By sharing their own stories, students become engaged in their education and open the door to their own achievements and accomplishments. A Louisburg education, La Branche said, should equip students to identify and solve some of society's most vexing problems. "Engaged learning and engaged teaching is about real world problems and real world solutions."