Butler University President Bobby Fong welcomed students to Butler University with words of encouragement during his President’s Convocation on Aug. 22.
Fong spoke about the record-breaking number of incoming freshmen, saying that while the men’s basketball team may have encouraged perspective students to accept the offer of admission, it is not all that Butler had to offer.
“Sports are the front porch to a university and our front porch was very crowded this spring,” Fong said. “But when people on the front porch looked through our window, they found a pervasive sense of academic seriousness and a commitment to excellence in all our educational endeavors.”
Fong said that the members of the basketball team went to class the day of the Championship Game and changes in practice schedules kept them from missing any class. The same commitment and dedication is expected of all students, Fong said.
“Butler has high hopes that each student will achieve great things, while at Butler and after graduation,” Fong said.
Fong said that the addition of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa last fall is a reflection of “the rigor of the curriculum, the credentials of the faculty, the resources of the library, and the focus on student learning.”
The staff and faculty of the university are striving to maintain the traditional academic excellence that it is known for, while adapting to the changes in careers, demands and technology, Fong said.
“Students, one-third of you will one day work at jobs that don’t yet exist,” Fong said. “We want to prepare you for that work.”
Fong said that while college is a time for mastering a body of knowledge, it’s also about exploring different views and values.
“At Butler, we hope to add to the stock of those people whom you admire and respect, after whom you can model parts of yourself,” Fong said. “But ultimately, your own best self is one you fashion by your choices and commitments.”
Fong assured parents that the students are in good hands at Butler University.
“In the end what your children learn at Butler will be determined by what choices they make. And the hardest thing for parents to do is to shift the authority for making wise choices from ourselves to our children,” Fong said.
In closing, Fong said he encourages students to take advantage of the time they will spend here at Butler, saying that it is an opportunity most do not get.
“You have an opportunity denied 99 percent of the world,” Fong said, “I say to you, make the most of your time here.”