Convocation is always an uplifting event at Franklin, a chance for freshmen and new students to gather with the university community for the first time, and an annual celebration of the start of another exciting academic year.

The ceremony opened with a welcome speech by Andrew Starcher, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and brief remarks by professors Johanna Fassl and Lori Montross on the concepts of magic and dreams. "A magic dwells in each beginning" are the words of Herman Hesse that Professor Fassl recited. She and Professor Montross invited all present in the auditorium to think about the magic of the moment, asking some to share their dreams for the new academic year.

Subsequently, professor Brack Hale, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs, introduced this year's Convocation keynote speaker, Franklin's President himself, Samuel Martín-Barbero, in his first official address to the whole university. President Martín-Barbero proceeded in giving an inspiring speech explaining 4 life lessons learned by his late long-time friend, mentor, and role model, Rafael, connecting them to Franklin's nature.

The commemoration ended with the traditional tree planting ceremony, where a fruit tree was planted on the Kaletsch Campus lawn. The tree symbolizes Franklin’s incoming students, the Class of 2026, whose roots will firmly be planted in the fertile Swiss soil of Franklin, but whose branches will spread out over the coming years to encompass the globe. A new tree equals new life, new wisdom, and new experiences.


Gelato Truck

Time: 5:00 PM—6:50 PM
Venue: Kaletsch Campus, Grotto Parking Lot

First year students are invited to stop by Kaletsch Campus for complementary ice creams as a welcome to the new academic year. Others will be able to pay (CHF 4.00 per cone). First year students will be asked to come together with their FYS group and academic mentor during designated timeslots to avoid overcrowding.

5:00—5:20 PM

BUS 199 (Miniero/Halim) + CLCS 199 (Wiedmer/Warner)

5:20—5:40 PM

AHT 199 (Fassl/Lohmann) + PSY 199 (Montross/Espinoza)

5:40—6:00 PM

COM 199 (Martinisi/Berrios Nieves) + POL 199 (Volpi/Closson)

6:00—6:20 PM

ENV 199 (Della Croce/Dye) + SJS 199 (Roy/Kameenui-Becker)

6:20—6:50 PM

BUS 199 (Schultz/Cantoria) + CLCS 199 (Saveau/Khalsa)

+ HIS 199 (Pyka/Villanueva)

Convocation Ceremony

Time: 7:00-7:45 PM
Venue: Kaletsch Campus, Nielsen Auditorium

7:00 PM

Welcome/Introduction to Convocation (Andrew Starcher)

7:10 PM

Remarks (Professors Johanna Fassl and Lori Montross)

7:25 PM

Introduce key-note speaker Dr. Samuel Martin-Barbero (Brack Hale)

7:30 PM

Key-note speech, Dr. Samuel Martin-Barbero

Tree Planting Ceremony

Time: 7:45 PM—8:15 PM
Venue: Kaletsch Campus, area outside Nelsen Auditorium

President Martín-Barbero invites the guests to join him outside the Auditorium for the tree planting ceremony. A few representatives from the incoming class, as well as the SGA President participate.