At the 2013 UMBC Convocation, held on Tuesday, August 27, President Freeman Hrabowski welcomed incoming students and shared UMBC’s continued national recognition, the importance of the civil rights movement in opening the doors for diversity in education, and what it takes to succeed at UMBC – and in life.
Dr. Hrabowski spoke to a crowd of more than 1,500, sharing his experience growing up during the civil rights movement and how those tumultuous times ultimately led to social and political change that made it possible for many more Americans – of all backgrounds – to attend college and earn degrees.
Dr. Hrabowski also discussed the state of higher education in America, citing the need to increase our numbers of college graduates. “Nearly half of all students who begin college do not graduate. At UMBC, however, we fully expect that you will graduate – and we will do everything we can to support you,” he said.
Shifting the conversation to UMBC priorities and expectations, Dr. Hrabowski assured the new students the campus community is dedicated to support as well as challenge them. “Our goal for each of you is that you graduate prepared to lead a meaningful, productive life,” he said. “You are here chiefly to prepare for the rest of your life – and you will have the greatest influence on your own success.”