New students welcomed to KSU family

 First Year Convocation


First week of classes concludes with annual First-Year Convocation

KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug 23, 2016) — With all the formality of a graduation ceremony – and a bit of pep rally mixed in – Kennesaw State officially welcomed its newest students Friday at the University’s annual First-Year Convocation.

“It does make me feel very much a part of the KSU community, so I appreciate it,” said Dain Owen, a first-year student from Marietta who plans to major in physics.

The convocation ceremony concluded Kennesaw State’s first week of fall semester classes. That short amount of time already has affirmed to Alice Barry, an aspiring nursing major from Canton, that she made the right choice to attend KSU.

“It’s just the best decision,” said Barry, a student in the President's Emerging Global Scholars program at KSU. “Making friends has been pretty easy, and I really like the student organizations and just the whole atmosphere of the campus. It is what I expected college to be like.”

The first-year students heard an inspiring message from Kennesaw State alumna Yvette Pegues. Soon after she graduated with a master’s degree in early childhood education in 2010, Pegues was diagnosed with a Chari malformation, a structural defect in the portion of the brain that controls balance.

Pegues has been confined to a wheelchair ever since, but that hasn’t slowed her down. She is a motivational speaker, the reigning Ms. Wheelchair International and the host of “disAbilityLifeTV,” a web-based show that focuses on diversity and the abilities, rather than the disabilities, people may have.

“I walked across this stage a few years ago, and now I have to roll across it. That’s not what I expected,” Pegues told the students. “But don’t allow your situation to lead you; instead, lead the situation in the best direction for you. This is the beginning of such an incredible journey for each and every one of you.”

Those words resonated with first-year student Leah Infinger, who said she wants to be involved in campus activities and volunteer for events such as Relay For Life. Infinger hails from about four hours away, in Richmond Hill, Ga., and chose Kennesaw State for its WellStar School of Nursing.

“Everyone is super nice, and I like my classes so far,” she said. “There are a lot of students here, but the campus is kind of smaller – so you feel like you’re on a big campus, but it feels a little bit more like home.”

Meanwhile, Albert Diaconu of Acworth was drawn to KSU for its environmental engineering program. He was struck by how much material his professors covered in the first week of classes.

“They start day one, and once they tell you something, that’s it,” Diaconu said. “They said it, and now it’s for you to know it. It’s your job from there.”

Kennesaw State Interim President Houston Davis welcomed the first-year students to “one of the most dynamic and innovative universities in the country.” He concluded the ceremony by leading them in the Kennesaw State Owl Creed, a commitment to academic excellence and personal integrity that each member of the University community is expected to follow.

“We are thrilled you have chosen to join our team,” Davis said. “You really represent KSU well, and we’re proud to have you.”


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit