Each Fall semester, UMBC holds an opening ceremony known as Convocation. Faculty, staff, and students are all invited to attend. The incoming freshman participate in a processional along Academic Row to the Retriever Activities Center (RAC) for the ceremony. The faculty form a receiving line at the doors to the RAC and welcome the new students. Speeches are given, the alma mater is sung, and freshman are given UMBC pins to celebrate joining the UMBC community.