They sat in the air-conditioned comfort of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in their purple Class of 2013 shirts - all 1,822 (or so) of them - future lawyers, doctors, editors, entrepreneurs, artists and who knows what else, clutching candles, belting out the alma mater and taking the first step toward their destinies.
As for the rest of the TCU Community, as English professor and keynote speaker Richard Enos put it, "We have the privilege of watching what you will become right before our very eyes."
With feelings of hope and promise and potential, a feel-good Freshmen Assembly adjourned. The school year has officially begun.
Enos, Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr., Provost Nowell Donovan, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Don Mills and others spent the hour encouraging and inspiring the group with the simple charge of beginning their college careers being smart and successful.
And they're not the same thing.
"The world is filled with talented individuals who have done nothing," Enos preached. "Don't fall victim to the notion that quickness equals brilliance. Writing an A paper just before deadline or cramming the night before an exam might make you smart. But it is not a pattern for success. The cure for cancer will not be discovered in this way."
Using examples of Victor Hugo, Jean Francios Champollion and Isocrates, Enos urged students to embody three traits of individuals who can outsmart those smarter than they: talent, practice and experience.
"You are all talented," he said. "But talented unrealized is talent wasted. My hope is that as partners in the TCU learning community that we will help one another mature and teach the passion to be great and work hard."