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Press Releases

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Connie Richards to Speak at Fall Convocation

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University officially inaugurates the academic year with its Fall Convocation on Tuesday, September 9, at 3:30 p.m. in Holloway Hall Auditorium.


The colorful ceremony with a procession of professors in full academic regalia and the University mace and flag to music by the Wind Ensemble is a tradition dating back to the beginnings of the University.


Following a welcome from President Janet Dudley-Eshbach and recognition of student scholars, a feature speaker sets the tone for the year in a major address to the campus community. This year’s spotlight is on Dr. Connie Richards, chair of SU’s English Department.


Through her speech, “Passage to More Than India: Charting the Course,” Richards hopes to convey to SU students, especially freshmen, that they are building a legacy during their time in college, and the course they set for themselves as college students will likely take them much farther than their initial destinations.


“What I’m trying to do is give an overall picture,” Richards said. “Not everything that is learned in college is learned in the classroom.”


For example, social situations lead many students to experience new ideas and people from various backgrounds, she said.


The first part of Richards’ speech’s title is based on the Walt Whitman poem Passage to India, which celebrates Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas. The poem ends with the line, “O farther, farther, farther sail!”—a line Richards hopes students take to heart.


“I’ve met a lot of people who regret not having a college degree, but I’ve never met anybody who regretted having one,” she said.


Along with this, Richards takes inspiration from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s work The American Scholar, in which the author encourages Americans to look within their own heritage for scholarly knowledge.


“He talks about three ways that one becomes an American scholar: looking at nature and human nature for hidden connections; using books as academic inspiration, but not as face-value representations of knowledge; and taking action on the knowledge one gains,” she said.


Admission to this year’s Fall Convocation is free and the public is cordially invited. A reception follows on the Fulton Hall lawn. In case of inclement weather, the reception will take place in the Social Room of Holloway Hall.


For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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