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Connecticut College marks start of academic year with Convocation, picnic

In a keynote address during the college´s 96th Convocation, Philosophy Professor Simon Feldman challenged students to examine their own personal commitment to the College´s Honor Code. Feldman then explored several interpretations of what, exactly, is involved in taking responsibility for one´s beliefs and why it is a matter of honor. "Pledging to take responsibility means you pledge not to be weak-willed," Feldman told a standing-room only crowd in Palmer Auditorium today. "It also means standing up for your beliefs, even if they are unpopular." See a slide show of Opening Day of 2010-11 Academic Year here.

Feldman, recipient of the 2010 John S. King Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented "Honor Code Ethics 101," as part of the traditional Convocation ceremony which celebrates the start of the academic year, welcomes new students and faculty, and recognizes the senior class. The ceremony also highlights some of the college´s most important values: academic excellence, integrity and the importance of community.

Created by Connecticut College students in 1922, the Honor Code is a system based on trust and mutual respect. Connecticut College students uphold academic excellence and high community standards by practicing responsible citizenship that protects the core principles of the college.New students learn about the Honor Code and sign a Matriculation Pledge to uphold during their orientation. During Convocation, all members of the community are invited to renew their commitment to the Honor Code by repeating the Matriculation Pledge together. Other highlights of the Convocation ceremony included welcome remarks from President Leo I. Higdon Jr.; speeches from Student Government Association President Nathan Cornell ´11 and class presidents Annie Motch ´11, D´laryus Rivera ´12, and Daniel Smoot ´13; and the introduction of new faculty members by Dean of the Faculty Roger Brooks.

W. Estella Johnson, director of economic development in Cambridge, Mass., a 1975 graduate of Connecticut College, and a Connecticut College trustee, shared fond memories of her own undergraduate days and, on behalf of the Alumni Association, presented the Class of 2014 its official banner. "What I continue to appreciate about my Connecticut College education is it taught me what, when and how to question," Johnson said. The 96th Convocation was followed by an all-campus picnic on Tempel Green.

September 2, 2010