What is Convocation?
In academia, the word "convocation" refers to a ceremonial assembly of the members of a college or university. Traditionally, academic convocations celebrate special events such as the beginning of the academic year or the anniversary of an institution.
History of Texas A&M's Academic Convocation
In 1997, Texas A&M re-established the practice of Academic Convocation as a celebration of the university's progress and an opportunity to discuss the university's plans for the future. The 1997 convocation focused on internal indicators of academic quality and achievement and holders of endowed chairs and professorships were recognized. Since then, Academic Convocation has provided a time for the institution to reflect on its role and responsibilities and celebrate special occasions. Here are a few highlights.
On October 4, 2001, Texas A&M University celebrated the 125th anniversary of its opening. The celebration included not only an Academic Convocation but also a special conference one-day conference on "Higher Education In and For a Just Society," and a gala dinner dance. The Convocation featured a keynote address by Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus and professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University.
The 2002 Academic Convocation was the setting for the installation of Robert M. Gates as the 22nd president of Texas A&M University.
In 2008, Elsa Murano was installed as the 23rd president of Texas A&M. She was the first woman and the first Hispanic to serve Texas A&M as president. R. Bowen Loftin, was installed as the 24th president on September 24, 2010.