chapman students

Opening Convocation welcomes class of 2021 to the ‘Chapman Family’

Chapman University welcomed its freshman class with words of wisdom, academic pageantry, fireworks and Panther traditions at its 2017 Opening Convocation Tuesday evening. For the 1,650 new students who filed onto Wilson Field, the occasion officially marked the beginning of their college careers and their entrance into the “Chapman family,” President Daniele C. Struppa said.

“You will grow intellectually, physically, socially and spiritually. You have chosen to join a very special community – what we like to call the Chapman family – with a long and cherished history of inclusion, openness and tolerance. It is our hope that you will espouse those ideas and that Chapman University will make its mark on you,” Struppa said in his welcoming remarks.

And vice-versa, Struppa added.

“Now the question is: how will you make your mark on Chapman?” he said, encouraging the new students to make legacies of their own by diving into research, scholarly activities, community work, service clubs and student life.

One highlight of the evening was a special recognition given to an alumna who has helped transform the University. Struppa announced the renaming of the College of Educational Studies, now known as Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies. The $10 million naming gift honors Donna Ford Attallah, who graduated from Chapman in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in education and dedicated her career to teaching kindergarten and first grade in the Cypress School District for 40 years.

Ford Attallah said she was always grateful for a $200 scholarship she received as an undergraduate from Bekins Moving and Storage and took to heart the company’s hope that its scholarship recipients someday give to others if they were able.

“Pay it forward,” she said.

President Emeritus Jim Doti presented the Aims of Education, an address traditionally given by a distinguished faculty member. Doti encouraged students to stay open to new ideas, even if it rattled their comfort level or demanded the hardest work of their lives.

chapman students
Chapman’s co-ed a cappella group SoundCheck performs at Convocation 2017. (Photo/Amanda Galemmo ’20)

“The real Chapman is a place electric with ideas, that will excite your hearts and your minds if you open your hearts and minds to it … Embrace the struggle. Don’t shy from it,” Doti said.

Opening Convocation officially opens the new school year, and for first-year and transfer students, it kicks off the weeklong Orientation that acquaints students with campus life and readies them for a successful academic year. Throughout the coming days students will attend a variety of programs, from get-togethers with residents of Old Towne Orange to field trips to top Orange County attractions.

Returning, graduate and transfer students also begin arriving at Main Campus and the Rinker Health Science Campus this week. Classes open on Monday, Aug. 28 for most, while students at the Dale E. Fowler School of Law began classes on Monday, Aug. 21.

Display image at top/Amanda Galemmo ’20

Dawn Bonker

Dawn Bonker

9 comments

  • Hi Dawn – is there any place that published the full text of Dr. Struppa’s and Dr. Doti’s 2017 Convocation speeches?

    • Hi Gary,

      Thank you for your note. The Aims of Education address is now available
      at this link, https://www.chapman.edu/academics/aims-of-education.aspx

      As President Struppa’s opening remarks were fairly brief, I
      can provide them here:

      “Good evening everyone! I’m Daniele Struppa, president of Chapman
      University. Welcome to the Opening Convocation for the class of 2021.
      Before we officially open our academic year, I would like to acknowledge
      a few special guests. On this platform, we have several members of the
      Chapman Family including University Deans, Board of Trustees, Board of
      Governors, the President’s Cabinet, and Senior Staff. Let’s give them a
      round of applause.

      This is our 156th academic year! Today is the
      start of a transformative time in your life. Over the next four years,
      you’ll earn a degree—or possibly two—and embark on a career path that
      will take you places you’ve never dreamed of going.

      You have chosen to join a special community – what we call
      The Chapman Family – with a long and cherished history of inclusion,
      openness, and tolerance. It is our hope that Chapman University will
      make its mark on you; how will you make you mark on Chapman? There are
      many ways to get involved at Chapman – from conducting research with one
      of your faculty members, to the communities in our residence halls, to
      student clubs to Greek life, and extensive opportunities to work in the
      community. These are good places to start. My experience has shown me
      that the more you invest yourself in Chapman, the better your time here
      will be.”

  • Yes, I too would like the full text of the Convocation speeches. I noticed past speeches are shown on the Aim of Education page.

    • Hi Donna,

      Thank you for your note. The Aims of Education address is now available
      at this link, https://www.chapman.edu/academics/aims-of-education.aspx

      As President Struppa’s opening remarks were fairly brief, we can
      can provide them here:

      “Good evening everyone! I’m Daniele Struppa, president of Chapman
      University. Welcome to the Opening Convocation for the class of 2021.
      Before we officially open our academic year, I would like to acknowledge
      a few special guests. On this platform, we have several members of the
      Chapman Family including University Deans, Board of Trustees, Board of
      Governors, the President’s Cabinet, and Senior Staff. Let’s give them a
      round of applause.

      This is our 156th academic year! Today is the
      start of a transformative time in your life. Over the next four years,
      you’ll earn a degree—or possibly two—and embark on a career path that
      will take you places you’ve never dreamed of going.

      You have chosen to join a special community – what we call The
      Chapman Family – with a long and cherished history of inclusion,
      openness, and tolerance. It is our hope that Chapman University will
      make its mark on you; how will you make you mark on Chapman? There are
      many ways to get involved at Chapman – from conducting research with one
      of your faculty members, to the communities in our residence halls, to
      student clubs to Greek life, and extensive opportunities to work in the
      community. These are good places to start. My experience has shown me
      that the more you invest yourself in Chapman, the better your time here
      will be.”

  • Can you please post a link to the Class of 2021 Convocation speeches by President Struppa and Dr. Doti? Thank you!

    • Hi Michelle.

      Thank you for your note. The Aims of Education address is now available at this link, https://www.chapman.edu/academics/aims-of-education.aspx

      As President Struppa’s opening remarks were fairly brief, I
      can provide them here:

      “Good evening everyone! I’m Daniele Struppa, president of Chapman University. Welcome to the Opening Convocation for the class of 2021. Before we officially open our academic year, I would like to acknowledge a few special guests. On this platform, we have several members of the Chapman Family including University Deans, Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, the President’s Cabinet, and Senior Staff. Let’s give them a round of applause.

      This is our 156th academic year! Today is the start of a transformative time in your life. Over the next four years, you’ll earn a degree—or possibly two—and embark on a career path that will take you places you’ve never dreamed of going.

      You have chosen to join a special community – what we call
      The Chapman Family – with a long and cherished history of inclusion, openness, and tolerance. It is our hope that Chapman University will make its mark on you; how will you make you mark on Chapman? There are many ways to get involved at Chapman – from conducting research with one of your faculty members, to the communities in our residence halls, to student clubs to Greek life, and extensive opportunities to work in the community. These are good places to start. My experience has shown me that the more you invest yourself in Chapman, the better your time here will be.”

  • Thank you. I remembered that we recorded President Struppa’s opening speech at Convocation, so here it is transcribed in its entirety:

    “Good evening! Please take a seat. I’m Daniele Struppa, President
    of this incredible university, Chapman University. Welcome to the Opening
    Convocation for the Class of 2021, the 156th class of Chapman
    University. Before we officially open our academic year, I would like to
    acknowledge a few special guests. On this platform, we have several members of
    the Chapman Family including University Deans, members of the Board of
    Trustees, Board of Governors, the President’s Cabinet, and Senior Staff. Let’s
    give them a round of applause.

    So, this is our 156th academic year. Today is the start of a transformative time in your life. Over the next four years, you’ll earn a degree, maybe two, if you are very good, and embark on a career path that will take you places you’ve never dreamed of
    going. You will grow intellectually, physically, socially and spiritually.

    You have chosen to join a special community – what we like to call The Chapman Family – with a long and cherished history of inclusion, openness, and tolerance. It is our hope that you will espouse these ideas, [applause] I think you’re espousing these ideas … and that Chapman University will make its mark on you. Now the questions is … how will you make your mark on Chapman? There are many ways to get involved here at Chapman University – from conducting research with our faculty members, to the communities in the residence halls, student clubs, Greek life, and many opportunities to work in the community. These are good places to start. My experience has shown me that the more you invest yourself in Chapman, the better time you will have. We are here to help you and support you all the way, take advantage of this great opportunity. And now please stand for the invocation offered by Reverend Dr. Gail Sterns.”