At the annual President’s Con­vo­ca­tion, North­eastern University’s incoming 113th Class was chal­lenged by uni­ver­sity leaders and upper­classmen to explore the diverse amount of oppor­tu­ni­ties North­eastern has to offer, and to expe­ri­ence the world beyond the bor­ders of campus.

Speaking to the 2,800 freshmen at Matthews Arena, Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun urged the new stu­dents to take advan­tage of co-​​op and expe­ri­en­tial learning—a hall­mark of edu­ca­tion at Northeastern—by taking courses out­side their majors or pur­suing oppor­tu­ni­ties that offer new challenges.

The pur­pose of you coming here is to explore your pas­sions and explore the world,” said Pres­i­dent Aoun. He also asked stu­dents to repeat a promise and a charge: “We won’t play it safe.”

Pres­i­dent Aoun reminded freshmen the world is rapidly changing and becoming more inter­con­nected on a global scale. He said North­eastern will help stu­dents dis­cover for them­selves how they will shape the world—by inte­grating them­selves in dif­ferent cul­tures and exploring var­ious careers.

Expe­ri­ence what you don’t know,” he told them and added, “every career you have will give you a dif­ferent view of the world.”

At the morning con­vo­ca­tion, enthu­si­astic freshman sang, cheered, applauded, and laughed. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from other upper classes also came together to col­lec­tively light a candle on the stage, an annual sym­bolic ges­ture wel­coming the new class to Northeastern.

The event also served as an intro­duc­tion for the founding deans of Northeastern’s three new col­leges: Xavier Costa, dean of the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design; Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties; and J. Murray Gibson, dean of the Col­lege of Science.

Ryan Fox, pres­i­dent of the Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment Asso­ci­a­tion, high­lighted the more than 200 unique stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions freshmen can pursue. Later, stu­dent speaker Danielle Dobson, a senior and double major in inter­na­tional affairs and eco­nomics, also encour­aged freshmen to find inspi­ra­tion in these oppor­tu­ni­ties and estab­lish lasting con­nec­tions with faculty.

Dobson recalled her own freshman year, when she began thinking about social entre­pre­neur­ship after par­tic­i­pating in the Global Corps pro­gram. In total, Dobson has worked, studied, and lived on four con­ti­nents during her time at Northeastern.

Through North­eastern, I’ve had a lot of incred­ible and life changing expe­ri­ences. Small ideas and inter­ests I had as a freshman have turned into what I hope to be life-​​long pur­suits,” Dobson said. “The path I’ve taken isn’t unusual at North­eastern. You will find your path you if look at a sub­ject from more than one perspective.”