By Lauren Turner
All chapel services and late morning classes were put on hold as UMHB celebrated the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year with Convocation. Featured speaker, Christian Studies Professor Dr. Carol Holcomb, explained the importance of the ceremony, which was new to many incoming students.
“Convocation is one of those rituals we do to mark time,” Dr. Holcomb said. “It’s so important to mark the beginning and the end of milestones, because it reminds us, it brings us back to why we’re doing what we’re doing… like punctuation. It gives things meaning.”
Holcomb also spoke about service, walking into new phases of life, and referenced notable UMHB alumni to inspire students as they move into this new academic year. Such inspiration could be valuable as students try to find their way in the coming months at school.
“I wanted to blend or think through two concepts: one is this idea of vocation and calling,” Holcomb stated. “We come to school, many of us, with an idea that there’s some things that we love and that we like to do, but we don’t have a clue how that’s going to mesh into a meaningful life.”
Dr. Holcomb also made sure to emphasize the common theme of each anecdote she posed, noting one of UMHB’s core beliefs, which is that service is important. She explained how that plays a role in each student’s education.
“We believe that a meaningful life is rooted in service… service to God and service to your neighbor,” she stated. “You love God, and you love your neighbor, and that’s a driving force of who we are.
“So, I looked at these women and men through history who found UMHB to be a portal or a doorway into service. Some of them graduated and came back and served, some of them went out and served from here, and some of them found their way here to serve.”
Holcomb also encouraged each student to face every class and subject as an opportunity to become their true self and an opportunity for growth.
“Dare to be curious. No matter what the subject is, I would suggest to you that you see this as a challenge to you to find something intriguing no matter what you’re studying,” she said. “You will use it all. Nothing is meaningless, and you’re not wasting your time.”