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Florida “Crossing Over” Ceremony Signifies New Beginnings

August 29, 2014

Northwood University recently welcomed hundreds of new, transfer, and International students to its West Palm Beach, Florida campus by holding its symbolic “Crossing Over” ceremony.

Serving as the highlight of Northwood Florida’s 2014-2015 Welcome Weekend activities, the “Crossing Over to a New Beginning” event included a colorful promenade of students from the bridge leading to the Edwards Bell Tower and Plaza area from the DeVos-Cook Academic Center.  Faculty, staff, returning students, and parents cheered the new students and all of the International students as they came across the bridge carrying state and national flags and entered the Edwards Bell Tower and Plaza.  New students from over 27 nations are represented on the Northwood Florida campus this semester.

Northwood Florida President, Dr. Tom Duncan, welcomed the large crowd and reminded them that a bridge connects people and places by making it possible for people to meet and interact, and by providing a simpler, more direct passageway to new places.  He paid special tribute to the many Northwood Texas students who are transferring to the Florida Campus this fall.

Duncan also expounded on the symbolic transition students make as they “cross over” to Northwood University from high school, or transfer from other colleges and universities, or transition from other states, nations and continents. He then reminded those assembled that a bridge goes in both directions.  Duncan, who is beginning his third year as Northwood Florida president, encouraged returning students, faculty, and staff to learn from the new students – whether from the United States or from abroad.  He also encouraged the International students, and all new students, to be willing to learn from those already present at Northwood Florida.

Duncan then asked specific groups a series of questions and encouraged them to affirm their commitment to the educational experience by responding with “We will!”

Freshmen:  Will you . . .

  • Commit to working hard to make the transition in your lives as successful as possible?
  • Take your place in the University community as scholars, as friends, and as examples to all those you encounter?

Transfer Students:  Will you . . .

  • Make every effort to find your place in your new University?
  • Study hard and take your place in leadership on campus, in the classroom, in student activities, in making new friends, and in mentoring those who are new freshmen?

Returning Students:  Will you . . .

  • Show the way as leaders of Seahawk Nation by receiving new freshmen and transfer students as colleagues, fellow-students, and friends?
  • Serve as leaders on campus by making yourselves available as mentors, guides, and friends?

International Students:  Will you . . .

  • Share knowledge and perspectives of your home countries and learn about America and its history and culture?
  • Help all students, faculty, and staff from nations other than own to learn about your home country, culture, and history?

Student Athletes:  Will you . . .

  • Agree to do your very best, both in the classroom and on the court, or pitch, or field, or course, or track?
  • Provide discipline and leadership that other students can follow?
  • Uphold the highest Seahawk standards of both competition and sportsmanship?

Faculty & Staff:  Will you . . .

  • Agree to love these students, to help them in and out of the classroom, to be their mentors, and to provide lessons in life as well as lessons in the academic disciplines?
  • Model for students the disciplines and hard work that will enable them to be successful in life, and in their careers?

Everyone:  Will you . . .

  • Commit to our Northwood Values, including: free-enterprise, entrepreneurship, individual freedom, individual responsibility, operating from a foundation of ethics & integrity; and of promoting and leveraging the global and multi-cultural nature of enterprise?
  • Commit to the Northwood Code of Ethics, which includes the following ideals and behaviors:
    • Freedom
    • Respect
    • Empathy
    • Spirituality
    • Honesty
    • Achievement
    • Integrity
    • Responsibility

Having heard the affirmative responses, Duncan then welcomed everyone to the great family known as Northwood Florida “Seahawk Nation,” and invited them to create a wonderful “New Beginning” as they begin the Fall Semester.

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