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Right place, right time

by Chris Lenois 

You’re in the right place,” said Landmark College President, Dr. Peter Eden, during his opening remarks at the Spring 2018 Convocation Ceremony, held on Saturday, January 27. Those words of affirmation to the newly arrived students and their families as they sat in the Greenhoe Theater were reinforced by three speakers at various stages of their own journey.

Current student Marc Thurman thought his experience with Landmark would be short-lived. He told his new classmates about his academic struggles at previous stops before enrolling at LC in his mid-20s. But after getting his associate degree, he decided to stay on to get his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies as well. He also found himself assuming positions of leadership among his peers, including becoming a residential advisor. “The first step is believing in yourself,” Marc said. “The next step is, you’re not alone. We believe in you. We believe you can be successful.”

The next speaker spoke of his firsthand knowledge of that institutional belief. Max Lyttle `13 shared the arc of his entire Landmark experience, from initial impressions upon his arrival on campus to now being part of the College’s Social Pragmatics staff. “I was handed a light that was to shine on the dialogue in my own head, to learn about my wonderful and specific brain. I was able to function the best and to start the process of opening myself up to new, exciting, and more often than not, uncomfortable experiences,” said Max.

Professor Emeritus Linda Hecker employed visuals during her remarks, making clear to the new students that the journey they were about to embark on would ultimately help them create “A Map Home.” Her Powerpoint slides depicted the College’s foundations, its current resources and amenities, and some of the paths that alumni have taken following graduation. But her main message was to embrace the present. “You do not need to hide who you are,” Hecker said. “Whether it’s your classroom teacher, a full faculty member staffing the Drake Center for Academic Support, the people who work at the bookstore, the counselors, coaches and advisors, academic deans and department chairs, or even (I should say especially) President Eden, they will be available to guide you on your journey.”

LC convocations close with new students coming to the stage to accept a coin emblazoned with the College seal, which the ceremony’s program says embodies a “mutual bond and promise for the worth and worthiness” of each student. How these new arrivals will fulfill that promise is obviously still to be determined, but Saturday’s event offered them assurance they were at the right starting point.

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