MARTIN, Tenn. – More than 1,000 freshmen were challenged by Chancellor Philip W. Conn to -fit in and stand out- at the University of Tennessee at Martin as the annual Freshman Studies Program opened this morning (Tuesday, Aug. 15).
Freshman Studies continues on campus through Saturday, and classes for the fall semester get under way Monday, Aug. 21. Conn expects total enrollment for the fall semester to be up from last year. He said enrollment would be about 6,000.
In his speech, Conn explained that freshmen must work at fitting in and there are other times -when we need to expend the effort and muster the confidence for standing out. It-s extremely important that we have the good sense and the emotional stability to know which behavior is needed in a given situation.-
Conn said to fit in students must follow the rules and expectations; work at making friendships last; and be a helpful and understanding neighbor or colleague. To stand out students must obtain superior accomplishments in all they do; assume leadership in difficult and challenging situations; and stand up for a worthy cause, even though it may not be popular.
-During your years at UT Martin, I want to encourage each of you to fit in as a productive and dependable part of the groups of which you are a part,- Conn said. -Be a devoted team player when your club or church or friends need your support; and be attentive and responsive to interests and concerns of those with whom you study and play. But never try so hard to fit in that you fail to be true to your own beliefs and principles.
-I also want to challenge each of you to stand out in some part of your college life and work where you have particular ability and interest: studies, athletics, club activities, community service,- Conn said. -Rise above the average and let those around you appreciate your special value.-
The chancellor, who is beginning his third year at UT Martin, explained the important ways of standing out. He told freshmen to be keen, develop a scientific and technical mind; seek to be brilliant business managers, public managers and economists; outstanding journalists, entertainers, designers or hospitality providers; or imaginative teachers, social workers or linguists.
-Some of you will make a name for yourselves by championing a worthy cause or providing extraordinary leadership in a time of crisis,- Conn said. -Make it a point to stand out in a way that matters to you and society. But those who become arrogant and self-centered as a result of standing out often destroy their effectiveness. They cease to fit in with friends and neighbors who have supported them over the years. Most successful people stand out enough to be seen and admired, but fit in enough to be understood and trusted.-
Conn said he was hopeful that each student would experience successful and happy college years of fitting in and standing out.
-We (UT Martin) wish for you: the charm and versatility and self-restraint to fit in; the vision, ability and courage to stand out; and the sensitivity, maturity and wisdom to know when you should fit in and when you should stand out.
-If you can find the right balance, UT Martin will be a better place because you are here, and you will become a more accomplished and valued person for having been here,- Conn said.