WASHINGTON, PA (Sept. 1, 2011) – Two annual events—Matriculation at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, and Convocation at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5—will ring in the 2011-12 academic year at Washington & Jefferson College.
Matriculation, a celebration of the class of 2015 and first-year students, and Convocation, which formally opens the new academic year at W&J, will be held in the tent near the Olin Fine Arts Center on Wheeling Street.
First-year students, including transfers and international exchange students, will be welcomed by Alton Newell, W&J’s vice president for enrollment, who will officially “hand off” the class to James “Jay” White II, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs. Students will be introduced, sign the mission statement of the College, and receive a W&J lapel pin indicating their lifetime membership in this new community. President Tori Haring-Smith, Ph.D., will address the group of more than 440 students.
At last year’s Matriculation ceremony, Haring-Smith told parents, “Don’t be surprised if your son or daughter changes during his or her time here. When your child comes home, he or she will have grown and changed. That’s why you are sending them here. Embrace that growth. Question them about their new ideas. Learn, listen, and talk with them. You are part of the remarkable transformation that we will all celebrate four years from now at graduation.”
The Convocation ceremony, as has become the tradition, is a family-focused event that concludes with a campus picnic for the entire College community.
“Convocation is an essential part of the opening of school. After spending the summer working, traveling abroad, on vacation, and with our families and friends, we come together again to mark the beginning of the school year,” Haring-Smith said. “At this time, it is important to reflect upon the history, traditions, and values of our community, and what makes W&J different from other places we might all work or study.”
During the ceremony, the bell in Old Main will ring for what is normally the only time throughout the year.
According to the Sept. 30, 1926, edition of the Red & Black, the student newspaper, the bell, in the south tower of Old Main, was cast in 1874 and installed in 1875. There is no record of how the bell was used until a half century later in 1926 when the clocks in each classroom were wired to the bell, which was then used to assemble and dismiss classes.
Both ceremonies can be viewed live on the Web, accessible through https://www2.washjeff.edu/Live/.