Convocation is an annual celebration at which students and faculty gather to celebrate the official opening of the scholastic year. Originally, “convocation” meant a gathering of the clergy or the divisions of a diocese; however, at the College of Charleston, the word and the event have evolved from their ecclesiastical roots to embrace the intellectual community as well.

The College’s convocation welcomes new students to the liberal arts and sciences community and encourages them to consider their own intellectual journey. This occasion also serves to familiarize incoming students with the College’s academic traditions as well as the institution’s history, symbols and mottos.

As part of convocation, new students pass through the arch at Porter's Lodge and convene in the Cistern Yard to join the College of Charleston community. The inscription on that historic arch reads (in Greek) "Know Thyself." 

Convocation for the fall 2020 semester will be held on the Monday, August 24, 2020.  Convocation is from 9:30-11:30 am.   

During the first part of the convocation experience, new students will participate in small group discussions with faculty at various locations on campus starting at 10:00 a.m. The times for departure and the room locations will be posted in August.  Students are expected to bring their printed convocation essays with their names on the essays to the conversations.   During the second part of convocation, new students will pass through the arch at Porters Lodge to the Cistern Yard where they will be welcomed to campus.    At the conclusion of the events on the Cistern Yard, new students can sign the Cougar Commitment and enjoy a brief reception.  The program is scheduled to conclude around 11:30 am.  The program is just for students so students whose parents are in Charleston can make arrangements to reconnect with families after the program at 11:30 am.