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Tech welcomes freshman class
Tech wings up
Freshmen students give a “Wings Up” hand signal at fall convocation.

COOKEVILLE, TN - Tennessee Tech University welcomed freshmen students this week at its annual convocation, held at the Hooper Eblen Center.

Convocation at Tech is a formal induction ceremony of the freshman class each fall semester into the academic community of the university. Tech President Phil Oldham, Provost Lori Mann Bruce, senior administrators and faculty presided over the ceremony, which prepares students for life at Tech.

“Starting today, you all belong to Cookeville and the surrounding community. You will find adventure, friendships and success here. Welcome home,” said President Oldham to the freshman class in remarks at the event.

Karen Lykins, vice president for communication and enrollment at Tech, delivered remarks highlighting the students’ diverse backgrounds and experiences.

“Your class includes freshmen from 85 of 95 counties in Tennessee, 28 other states, and 21 other countries,” said Lykins. “28 of you are Eagle Scouts. 84 of you are varsity athletes. Dozens of you have joined the Golden Eagle Marching Band. Your ages range from 16 to 50."

Lykins noted that 27 members of the freshman class have served or are serving in the U.S. military and 209 are a dependent of someone who has served. Additionally, 296 students from the entering class have a parent who graduated from Tech.

The incoming students were presented with the traditional Tech Challenge Coin, which students are asked to keep through their time at the university as a reminder of Tech’s promise to guide, assist and educate them. Upon completing their studies at Tech, students are asked to pass the coin along with a letter of thanks to someone at the university who most impacted their college experience.

Student trustee Addison Dorris, a senior from Portland, Tennessee, served as emcee and student body president Chance Hale, a junior from McMinnville, Tennessee, served as macebearer. Susan Wells, instructor in the College of Business, also delivered remarks while Robert Owens, chief diversity officer at Tech, offered the invocation.

Learn more about convocation at Tech and watch a livestreamed video of this year’s ceremony at