Each year, first-year, transfer, and senior students gather together at the start of a new academic year for the event, which bestows upon them a new level of responsibility for their education, calling them to ask questions, seek knowledge, and make connections with peers and faculty alike. This year, remarks from Dean of the Division of Research & Academic Resources Ann Dobmeyer, Provost Melissa Morriss-Olson, President Carol A. Leary, Vice Chair of the Bay Path University Board of Trustees Jonathan Besse, and keynote speaker Geena Ravella ’06 centered on the University Theme: “Be Curious.”
For Ravella, the power of curiosity has shaped not only her career but her life. Originally from Schenectady, New York, Ravella has studied many disciplines of dance for over 30 years and started choreographing at age 14. In high school, Ravella took to mock trial. She loved presenting arguments backed by facts in the courtroom and felt motivated to pursue a career in law. At Bay Path, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, but when she left, she returned to her true passion: the arts. Now, 12 years later, Ravella is the Artistic Director of Stage Door Studios as well as a Choreographer, Performer, and Director of Musical Theatre. She most recently traveled to LA where she received the prestigious Industry Dance Award for her choreography.
“Even though my mom was in the arts, she didn't want that life for me. But if you are in the arts, you know it's part of your soul. It always finds you, wherever you are,” Ravella told students.
She referenced maintaining a rigorous schedule while studying law at Bay Path, which included practicing yoga, taking dance classes, experimenting with acting, set design, and more. Although Ravella followed her passion for the arts and made a career of it, she still uses her legal studies degree in her day-to-day work, finalizing contracts and more.
“Bay Path made me the woman I am today because it helped me evolve. Being curious doesn't leave you after you leave here. It has to follow you through life,” Ravella said.
She encouraged the students to find a spark and follow that spark, have a good work ethic, and no matter what, not to take the easy way out.
Convocation concluded with the traditions of the donning of the caps ceremony, and the senior affirmation and first-year response.