President McDavis and the university formally welcomed the class of 2019 at The President’s Convocation for First-Year Students.

President Roderick McDavis told the Class of 2019 freshmen in the annual President's Convocation that they are not only "Bobcats today, but ... Bobcats forever."

The President’s Convocation for first-year students was one of the last university-sponsored events to welcome the newest Bobcats to campus over the weekend.

In his speech, McDavis reflected on his own time at OU as a student.

“What an exciting time in your lives,” McDavis said. “It seems like only yesterday I was sitting in the same seats you are sitting in today.”

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Eric Passalacqua said his favorite part of the event was McDavis’ speech.

“He was lit. … He really connected with the students,” Passalacqua, an undecided freshman, said.

Passalacqua said he “definitely” feels like a Bobcat.

McDavis encouraged the freshman to reach out to OU’s faculty.

“Don’t let anybody turn you around,” McDavis said to cheers from the freshman audience. “You came here for a reason, not for a season.”

McDavis reminded the freshmen why they came to OU, telling them they are in Athens to receive an education and not to spend every night on Court Street.

“We don’t give a degree for how many bars you go to on Court Street,” McDavis said. “That is not why you came to OU. … You didn't come to OU to see how drunk you can get.”

Jenny Hall-Jones, dean of students and interim vice president for Student Affairs, also welcomed the freshmen.

“You are Bobcats no matter where you are. You are ambassadors for the Bobcat family no matter where you are,” Hall-Jones said, telling the freshmen to cherish their college years.

On Friday night the Class of 2019 made history by partaking in a class picture at Peden Stadium. At the convocation on Sunday, McDavis showed the picture to the freshmen.

McDavis said he wanted to take some more pictures with the freshman class, so he pulled out his phone and took some selfies.

“The president seems like a pretty hype guy,” said Jacob Crider, a freshman who is undecided. “That’s my first experience meeting a president of a university and I don’t know if many presidents are like that. (McDavis) was pretty excited about it.”

McDavis toward the end of his speech told the students that “black lives matter” and OU doesn’t tolerate sexual misconduct.

In his speech, McDavis said that as of now there are 4,675 students in the freshman class – the largest in OU’s history.

“Congratulations on being the largest class in OU,” he said.

Last year’s freshman class included 4,377 students. The official enrollment numbers for this year’s freshman class will not available until a few weeks into fall semester.


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