New Student Convocation


Please RSVP

Please RSVP for a ceremony soon as seats are filling up fast:

Note:  Students are expected to attend, but we understand there may be extenuating circumstances and your plans may change. Please contact our office to make changes to your reservations, to request special accommodations, or to let us know you cannot attend so waitlisted students may attend in your place and we can arrange for you to receive your Convocation gifts. Email: or (936) 294-3422.

You and your family are invited to join President Hoyt and the university community for a ceremony commemorating the beginning of your academic journey. New Student Convocation serves as the ceremonial start for our new students, just as Commencement serves as the ceremonial finish.


All new students are expected to attend New Student Convocation. All new students be notified on times to report to the Payne Concert Hall located in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center. Attire is business casual. Please bring your Bearkat OneCard.

Dr. Dana Hoyt

Dana G. Hoyt, President

Families and Friends

Families are invited and encouraged to attend New Student Convocation to witness their students’ entry into the Sam Houston State University academic community of engaged scholars. New students will have the honor of sitting together. Seating is available for families and friends in designated sections separate from new student seating but providing a great view of the students and the ceremony. Signs and ushers in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center will provide directions to new students and their families. Attire is casual for family and friends.

The Program

The program communicates to students their roles both as people who learn from others and as people who contribute to the vitality of the University. The Convocation also communicates the role of faculty members as scholars, teachers, and fellow members of this community. A keynote address will be given by President Hoyt and by a selected outstanding undergraduate student. With all new students assembled in one place, the students will gain a sense of the size, strength, and identity of their class and provide an important connection to one another and to the University. Students will receive a special gift. For questions, please call the First-Year Experience office at (936) 294-3422.


The physical location of the building housing Convocation is:

Gaertner Performing Arts Center
College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication
815 17th Street
Huntsville, TX 77340

  • Paid parking will be available at the SHSU Parking Garage which is located behind the Loman Student Center and/or across the street from the GPAC. 
  • Free Parking will be available in the following parking lots:
    • George Beto Criminal Justice Center (building 46 on the campus map).
    • Newton Gresham Library (building 42 on the campus map).
    • The University Hotel (building 286) on the campus map).