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Fall Convocation

Fall Convocation August 27, 2014 4:00pm

Fall Convocation

Fall Convocation 2017

Fall Convocation is the first formal celebration that opens each new academic year at Case Western Reserve University. An annual event that occurs in late August during the first week of the fall semester, Fall Convocation stands as a bookend to commencement. This annual event features an academic procession and a keynote speaker.

The event begins with a procession of the university's leadership, faculty, emeriti, delegates and banner guard, in academic regalia, into Severance Hall. Once the community has congregated in the venue, the ceremony, which features a keynote speaker, begins and is followed by a reception on campus. 

Fall Convocation will be held Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at Severance Hall. 

University’s Common Reading

‌Our speaker will be Sarah Vowell, author of the bestselling narrative nonfiction, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States (Riverhead, October 2015). 

Figures and events in American history, described in unconventional, sharply observed and often humorous detail—imperfections and all—spring alive from the pages and mind of Sarah Vowell and her bestselling narrative nonfiction. Vowell’s writing reveals how American history can turn up unexpectedly in modern culture, often in poignant ways.

Vowell and Lafayette were selected as the common reading assignment because “we love the book and the author. Both it and she are super smart and super funny,” said Timothy Beal, the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion, chair of the Department of Religious Studies and also of the common reading selection committee. “Vowell brings a very rare combination of insightful interpretation and sharp humor to her research. She takes a long view of history, telling a story that layers on contemporary perspectives—perspectives that are especially relevant to our current political environment.”

Each year since 2002, the university’s common reading book serves as a basis for programs and discussions for first-year students from orientation through fall semester. Incoming students receive the book to read during the summer.

As part of the common reading program, Vowell will appear on campus as the Elaine G. Hadden Distinguished Visiting Author during fall convocation on Aug. 30—the official opening event of the 2017-18 academic year. The event will be free and open to the public. Ticketing information will be made available this summer.