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Farnam Jahanian at Convocation
Carnegie Mellon President Farnam Jahanian speaks at Convocation.

Convocation: Class of 2027+ Joins Tartan Community

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Peter Kerwin
University Communications & Marketing

After the bagpipes settled, President Farnam Jahanian(opens in new window) officially welcomed 1,722 first-year students to the start of their academic pursuits at Carnegie Mellon University on Thursday. 

“When you start hearing bagpipes, that’s usually a clue that something special or ceremonial is about to happen,” Jahanian said. “Today is no different.”

Students at Convocation.

Members of the Class of 2027+ attend Convocation.

The Class of 2027+, comprising students from 45 U.S. states and 36 countries worldwide, gathered in the tent on the College of Fine Arts(opens in new window) lawn for Convocation, the formal celebration marking the start of their academic journey. 

As he addressed the incoming class, Jahanian asked that they take stock of the moment, and acknowledge the accomplishment of being admitted to Carnegie Mellon.

“You are exactly where you need to be,” Jahanian said. “You have earned this rare opportunity to expand your horizons alongside of some of the most gifted scholars on the planet.”

Jahanian then looked at what’s to come for the newly minted Tartans.

“The next several years will undoubtedly be some of the most transformative of your lives,” Jahanian said. “You will form lifelong friendships, grow in innumerable ways, and discover passions that ignite your academic and professional careers.”

James H. Garrett Jr.

James H. Garrett Jr.

Provost James H. Garrett Jr.(opens in new window) attested to the value of a Carnegie Mellon education, having earned three CMU degrees himself. 

“I had and I still have such a deep respect for the unique culture here: for the people, for the academic rigor, the collegiality, and for the unlimited research and creative opportunities our students have here at CMU.” Garrett said. “Carnegie Mellon has unquestionably influenced my life in ways that would not have happened at other universities. And for that, I am grateful.”

Lauren Moran, associate dean for Student Affairs(opens in new window) and director of First-Year Orientation(opens in new window) and Family Engagement, recapped the week’s Orientation activities and talked about the role of community at CMU.

“While your academic journey over the next few years will have both successes and challenges, I want to reassure you that the entire Carnegie Mellon community is here to support you,” Moran said. “Be proud to call yourself a Tartan.”

The Class of 2027+ class tile is presented.

From left: First-year students Duncan Winters, of the College of Engineering, and Isabella Garcia, of the Tepper School of Business, are presented the class tile by Shawn Noronha, a senior head orientation counselor studying chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, and Lauren Moran, associate dean for Student Affairs and director of First-Year Orientation and Family Engagement.

Shawn Noronha, a senior head orientation counselor studying chemical engineering(opens in new window) and biomedical engineering(opens in new window), discussed this year’s Orientation theme: Pursue Your Happiness.

“Here at Convocation, you’re taking the first step in a journey of discovery and growth, a journey that will continue long after you’ve left this campus,” Noronha said. “Wherever pursuing your happiness takes you, Carnegie Mellon will be there every step of the way.”

Kyle Hynes, president of the Undergraduate Student Senate(opens in new window), advised the new class to be mindful of the present.

“You all have a lot of time to think about your future, but make sure you spare a thought for your present,” said Hynes, a junior pursuing a double major in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences(opens in new window) in international relations and politics(opens in new window) with an additional major in statistics and machine learning(opens in new window). “If you don’t spare a thought for the present in the present, you won’t spare a thought for the present in the future.”

The keynote address was delivered by Matthew Johnson-Roberson(opens in new window), director of CMU’s Robotics Institute, professor of computer science and CMU alumnus. Johnson-Roberson passed on advice that he’s carried with him since his time at Carnegie Mellon.

Matthew Johnson-Roberson

Matthew Johnson-Roberson

“One of the most powerful things you have now that you are here in college is the ability to bring your own meaning to whatever you want to do,” Johnson-Roberson said. “This idea of finding your own happiness is also about finding your own sense of meaning. And I think that one of the most powerful things about my time here at Carnegie Mellon, and I hope that you’re able to have the same experience, is that finding that meaning really set me up for the rest of my life.”

After the remarks, Jahanian introduced the new members of each school to their respective dean to joyful cheers. He closed Convocation, saying “We’re excited to see the mark you will make on our community, and the world. So once again, members of the Class of 2027, congratulations, and welcome to Carnegie Mellon!” 

Then the bagpipes played on. 

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