Gabriela Ruiz-Colón ’16 has two Harvard class photos in her apartment that she looks at often. One is from her First-year Convocation in the fall of 2012, the second from her Commencement in spring of 2016. Together, the photos bookend her Harvard experience.
“I remember feeling a little lost in the 2012 picture, everything was so new,” says Ruiz-Colón. But by 2016, many classmates in the earlier photo had become her friends. “Harvard would change my life, but I didn’t know that when I was first starting out,” she said.
Harvard College First-Year Convocation didn’t exist when Peter Mazareas ’73 arrived, but he remembers feeling the way Ruiz-Colón did.
“It is an anxious time, particularly move-in day and meeting your classmates and roommates, wondering if you belong and how you fit into the class,” he says. “Nonetheless, during those first few days, I made lifelong friends.”
Ruiz-Colón and Mazareas were among a group of alumni volunteers who returned to campus on Monday to marshal First-Year Convocation, the first official gathering for the College Class of 2022. For the past 10 years, alumni marshals have helped welcome and celebrate the incoming College class, greeting first-year students as they gather at their dorms and leading them into Tercentenary Theatre for the convocation exercises.