Troy University’s incoming freshman class began their Trojan journey on Sunday during the University’s annual Odyssey Convocation in Trojan Arena on the Troy Campus.
The Convocation seeks to encourage and inspire new students while also educating them to the University’s traditions as they begin their college journey – a journey that begins in Trojan Arena with Odyssey and ends in the same location as they cross the stage to receive their diplomas at commencement.
“We want you to be a part of a great tradition – a tradition that will serve you well forever,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “This arena represents the alpha and omega of your experience here at Troy University. You begin here today in this arena, but you will also be back here in this place for your graduation. That doesn’t mean the end of your experience with TROY – once a Trojan, always a Trojan. You will enjoy the benefits of being a Troy University graduate for the rest of your life, and we are so proud that you are here and will share this experience.”
TROY alumnus Wesley Swanzy, a Goshen native and a 2012 graduate of the Sorrell College of Business, delivered the keynote address to the incoming class. He serves as Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Swanzy encouraged the incoming students to take advantage of the opportunities provided through their TROY experience.
“Troy University is more than just a campus. It is a vibrant community that will shape you in ways you never thought possible,” Swanzy said. “As an alumnus, I stand before you today filled with excitement and nostalgia, remembering the transformative moments that defined my own college experience, and let me tell you, your time here will be nothing short of extraordinary. College is not just about textbooks and lectures, it’s about self-discovery, finding your voice and embracing new opportunities. Within these walls you will have the opportunity to actively engage in campus life and to be a part of clubs and organizations that align with your passions. Your choices here will define your college experience and set the course for your future.”
Swanzy said his time at TROY helped to shape his life.
“My time at Troy University played a pivotal role in shaping who I am today. It was during my years at TROY that I had some of the most defining moments of my life,” he said. “It helped me find my passions and sent me on a path toward personal growth and fulfillment.”
Swanzy encouraged students to take advantage of the international community that Troy University provides.
“Don’t forget to engage with international clubs and other organizations on campus, stepping outside of your comfort zone and opening your mind to the beauty of the different cultures and perspectives,” he said. “These experiences will broaden your horizons and foster a deeper appreciation for diversity. Embrace the opportunities to learn from one another and celebrate the richness of our global community.”
While the college experience isn’t free from challenges, those provide opportunities for growth, he said.
“Through active involvement you will discover who you truly are as a person and what you hold dear. The challenges you face and the triumphs you will achieve will shape your character and guide you toward a future of purpose and fulfillment,” Swanzy said. “College is a time for personal development and exploring one’s true identity, and Troy University offers you the perfect platform to explore your potential. Remember, it is through adversity that we grow stronger, and every stumbling block we encounter on this journey is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.”
Swanzy encouraged the students to become an active part of campus life.
“Embrace the multitude of opportunities that Troy University offers you. Step outside your comfort zone, try new things, forge lifelong connections,” he said. “The faculty, staff and resources are here to support you every step of the way. To my fellow Trojans, as you embark on this incredible journey, cease every opportunity to be active, engaged and open to exploration. The discoveries you make here and the values you embrace will stay with you long after you leave these halls. Embrace the challenges, cherish the friendships and always stay true to yourself.”
Also during the convocation, student heard from Dr. Hal Fulmer, Dean of Undergraduate and First-Year Studies, Dr. Kerry Palmer, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and SGA President Theo Thoenes. The event also included the symbolic lighting of the Odyssey flame and the singing of the Fight Song and the Alma Mater, accompanied by The Sound of the South.