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August 21, 2007
For the first time in its seven-year history, the New Student Opening Ceremony, set for Thursday, Aug. 23, will conclude with last words from a current undergraduate.
Patrick Delaplain, a junior biochemistry major who auditioned for the role, said he hopes to impart some veteran wisdom to the incoming freshmen so they can avoid mistakes he made.
"When I first got to the University I had a negative attitude towards being here," said Delaplain. "It took time for me to figure out that this is where I want to be."
To earn the opportunity to give the closing remarks, Delaplain auditioned for a group that included Sarah Ragsdale, president of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada.
"I had to audition in front of a few people," Delaplain said. "I got an e-mail a few days later notifying me that I was going to speak. I am very excited to be a part of the ceremonies."
Delaplain will follow an esteemed cast of speakers who will welcome the class of 2011, including English professor Phillip Boardman, University President Milton Glick and Rebecca Bevans, president of the Graduate Student Association.
Deborah Vigil, an associate professor of speech pathology and audiology in the University of Nevada School of Medicine, will deliver the keynote address.
"The opening ceremony is very important because it sets the tone for what the students are going to be doing for the next years of their lives," said Vigil.
Vigil, who has been with the University since 1999, will receive the Silver Compass Award, given to faculty who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to their students.
"I was surprised," said Vigil. "I'm just glad students know that I care about them."
Vigil, a Nevada native, plans to discuss her college experience in London. She feels these students have a lot to gain by attending the University.
"Besides doing great research, the University offers great opportunities and supplies the students with great professors," said Vigil.