Tyrone Russell to Class of 2024: Challenge Yourself
First-year students were challenged to connect and engage with their classmates during their first few days on campus.
Tyrone Russell, CEO of Lehigh Valley Faces and coordinator of Racial and Ethnic Justice in the Lehigh Valley, spoke to the Class of 2024 as part of orientation weekend. He asked students to break out into socially distanced groups of two for a little experiment in active engagement.
“Today, we sit six feet apart with masks on our faces,” he said. “There’s a mixture of emotions. I would be remiss if I didn’t give us an opportunity just to talk about everything that’s going on in our world right now and how it has impacted us.”
Russell also talked about issues of diversity, cultural competence, and stereotypes. He encouraged students to engage with difference and to consciously unlearn some of the biases they’ve been taught.
“Challenge yourself, connect, get out of your comfort zone, make friends in different places. This is what this place is for. College isn’t an accomplishment. It’s an invitation to work as hard as you’ve ever worked in your life.”
Orientation 2020 also featured drive-in movies, an opening prayer service and welcome with Father Greenfield, a field day with pod challenges, and more fun activities.