On January 16 we held the 2023 Academic Year Inaugural Event in which we welcomed 103 students (50 women and 53 men) from 27 countries. They are part of the Class of 2026 and are just beginning a four-year journey that will turn them into agronomists and leaders of change. At the same time, they will become a big family.
All 27 flags paraded down the central aisle of the Emory L. Cocke Auditorium, including the Russian Federation flag, a country that joined our community this year. Then, we had the opportunity to listen to the welcome speeches of Arturo Condo, president of our University; Yanine Chan, dean; Jessenia Mármol (‘24, Ecuador) and member of the Student Council; and Ajani Rolle (‘26, Bahamas), a first-year student and part of the Spanish Program.
“As a third year student I can briefly say that time goes by very fast: today you are starting your first year and without realizing it, you will be close to graduation. If I may say, make the best use of your time at EARTH, be curious, ask questions, because the world of knowledge begins with a question. Commit to your classes, value the teachings and learn from every teacher you come across in your training. Make the university experience the greatest adventure of your lives,” said Jessenia in her speech, which undoubtedly motivated the new class to make the most of their experience at EARTH.
During the event, we also celebrated the academic excellence of second, third and fourth year students who with great effort received the “Academic Honor of “, a certificate that recognizes those who have attained an annual average of 9.5 points, have earned a grade equal or higher than 8.5 in all courses and have not received a written reprimand for violating the rules of academic honesty or for having been on administrative or academic trouble during the school year.
“Now that we are here, we have work to do. The transition towards becoming an agent of change begins now. The skills we will learn here will undoubtedly help change the lives of many others. It goes without saying that agriculture is important in today’s world, and as the population continues to grow, its importance will only increase. Now, more than ever, sustainable agronomists are needed to ensure a better future. We all have our own plans to achieve this and I believe we are all capable of doing it,” expressed Ajani in the impeccable Spanish he has learned in just five months thanks to the Spanish Program.
With these heartfelt words, we welcome the Class of 2026 and the entire EARTH community to a new year full of adventures, challenges, and growth.