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730 students are officially the newest members of the Skidmore family after today’s virtual Convocation ceremony, streamed live from the Zankel Music Center. ⠀ ⠀ During the ceremony, FYE Director Amon Emeka [first photo] praised the character, persistence and potential of the incoming class: “Take the responsibilities of community membership seriously and take full advantage of opportunities and resources membership in this extraordinary community affords you. Skidmore College is now and forever your college.”⠀ ⠀ Mary Lou Bates, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, described the remarkable diversity of the Class of 2024: 14% are the first in their families to go to college, and a quarter identify as domestic students of color. They hold citizenship from 25 different countries and converse using languages ranging from American Sign Language to Zulu. A number have already run their own businesses, while others are accomplished athletes. Many have participated in social justice initiatives and have held leadership positions in schools and other organizations⠀ ⠀ "You have worked, interned and volunteered in all kinds of interesting capacities all over the world: as glassblowers, a blacksmith, welders and a magician,” Bates said. “You’ve performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, with the Boston Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet . . . You are a wonderfully talented, energetic and diverse group.”⠀ ⠀ President Marc C. Conner [second photo] reiterated his call for “truly heroic action” from all members of the Skidmore community to prevent cases of COVID-19 on campus while also building a more inclusive campus community. “We are absolutely committed to fostering at Skidmore a community where everyone can thrive, everyone feels at home and everyone has the opportunity to do their best work. This is the responsibility of us all, and it’s easy to say and really tough to do . . . But Skidmore does not shrink from challenges, and I’m eager to do this work in collaboration with you all."