Thousands of new Mocs flocked to McKenzie Arena Friday at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for Convocation 2023.
Geared for first-year students, it’s a cross between a welcome event and a pep rally.
“The vibe is awesome,” Sydney Washington, an entrepreneurship major who moved into her residence hall the day before, said from the bleachers.
Like many UTC newbies, Washington had just moved into her new residence hall the day before and was eager to begin college life.
“I can’t wait to start classes. The sooner I get going and get my education, the sooner I’ll find my path in life,” said Washington, a graduate of East Hamilton High School.
Members of the University’s marching band, cheerleading squad and two dance teams hyped the crowd, which grew increasingly louder during the event.
“It’s heating up. I like it, I like it,” said convocation emcee Terrance Banks, assistant director of recruitment and engagement and UTC alum.
Mallary Quaderer, a senior majoring in exercise science and Sugar Moc, taught the crowd the UTC fight song.
“It’s really important to make this event special for them because it’s their first college experience at UTC,” she said.
Director of Volleyball Julie Torbett encouraged everyone to attend Mocs Athletics event, which are free to all UTC students.
“We need your school spirit,” Torbett said after shimmying to center stage.
UTC Chancellor Steven Angle urged students to get involved.
“Take advantage, don’t be a spectator. This is your education, your opportunity to help shape our campus,” Angle said.
“Welcome to all of you. We look forward to a great year. Go Mocs!”
Convocation immediately was followed by First Class, another first-year student event to help them get ready for the first day of classes on Monday.
Convocation photo gallery by Angela Foster