Fall Convocation is the formal celebration that opens each new academic year at Case Western Reserve University. Held in late August during the first week of the fall semester, Fall Convocation stands as a bookend to commencement.
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, the ceremony, which features a keynote speaker, begins and is followed by a reception on campus.
University’s Common Reading
As part of the common reading program, the author of the common reading book appears on campus as the Elaine G. Hadden Distinguished Visiting Author during Fall Convocation—the official opening event of the new academic year.
The event is free and open to the public. For registration information, please see the Event Details page.
Our 2019 speaker was Paige Williams, staff writer at The New Yorker. Her first book, The Dinosaur Artist, was chosen as Case Western Reserve University’s 2019 common reading book. Incoming students received a copy this summer and will participate in related programming during their inaugural semester at the university. Each year since 2002, the university’s common reading book has served as a basis for programs and discussions for first-year students.