August 12th, 2019
Dear Bobcat Parent and Family Members,
At the start of every academic year, MSU offers an inspired campus tradition for our incoming students called Convocation. If you look up the word, convocation, you will find that it refers to an assembly of persons called together for a meeting in order to pursue a common purpose.
On August 22, author Tara Westover will give MSU's 2019 Freshman Convocation Lecture. All incoming students will be assigned to read Westover's acclaimed memoir, "Educated," during their first-year seminar. "Educated" has been at the top of bestseller lists for more than a year and was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2018 by the New York Times Book Review.
Born to survivalist parents who opposed public education, Westover grew up in southeastern Idaho. At first, she overcame the circumstances of her parents' obstacles to education by learning to read from an older brother. In time, she taught herself enough mathematics, grammar and science to gain admission to Brigham Young University at 17, and graduated magna cum laude in 2008. A recipient of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Westover continued with graduate studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a doctorate in history in 2014.
We encourage you to attend Westover's lecture if you're in town. The event is free and open to the public.
MSU Convocation is just one of 20 signature events offered for students during the first six weeks of school. We call the collective of these intentionally designed programs MSU Debut, and all of them are free of charge for students. Our goal is for your student to make connections, meet new friends, and find engagement opportunities on campus. When students become engaged in the student-life experience, we find they get better grades and graduate on time.
Your student won't want to miss our Welcome Back BBQ, Catapalooza, SUBtacular, and the annual "M" Photo. If you attend the Welcome Back BBQ, please be on the look-out for the other academic deans and me-- we'll be helping to serve the prime rib this year.
If you are a parent of a first-year student, check in with your student about emails sent to them from Residence Life with instructions for Move-In Day. To keep you in the loop, I'll be sending backup information in a couple of days.
Matthew R. Caires
Dean of Students
P.S. Parent-Family weekend is earlier than usual this year--Sept. 27-28. Save the date and join us! Also, did you know that MSU parents and family members are always welcome to attend MSU Alumni events?