Lawrence University holds three convocations each year to celebrate the new academic year, learn from accomplished individuals, and celebrate student and faculty achievements. Join us! 

What are convocations?

Derived from the Latin word convocare, convocation means "to call or come together."  In other words, it is a formal assembly of people. The Lawrence community formally assembles three times during the academic year:

  • Matriculation Convocation
    Welcomes students, faculty, and staff back to campus. Delivered by the University president in September, it marks the start of the new academic year. 
  • University Convocation
    Shares ideas and provides insight on contemporary issues. Invited by the faculty Convocations and Commencement Committee, this address is delivered by individuals of high accomplishment in their respective field and takes place during the winter.
  • Honors Convocation
    Celebrates the end of the academic year. Delivered by a member of the Lawrence community, students and faculty achievements are given special recognition.  

2023–2024 Convocation Series

Convocations are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.

Matriculation Convocation: President Laurie A. Carter
Friday, September 15, 2023
12:30 p.m.

University Convocation: Dr. Ruha Benjamin
Friday, February 2, 2024
12:30 p.m.

Honors Convocation: Mark Phelan
Knowing Others and Ourselves
Friday, May 24, 2024
12:30 p.m.

2024–2025 Convocation Series

Convocations are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.

Matriculation Convocation: President Laurie A. Carter
Friday, September 13, 2024
12:30 p.m.

University Convocation: Patricia Smith
Friday, January 24, 2025
12:30 p.m.

Honors Convocation: Allison Fleshman
Why Paint Drying is More Interesting than One Might Think
Friday, May 23, 2025
12:30 p.m.

Convocation Video Archives

Many of our previous Convocations from the last few years can be found on our YouTube Channel in the Convocations Playlist.