WASHINGTON, PA (Sept. 1, 2017)—The theme of togetherness enveloped the rising class of freshmen at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) during the Aug. 31 matriculation ceremony.
W&J welcomed 346 full-time degree-seeking freshmen and an additional 36 transfer and non-degree-seeking students from 20 states and 22 countries during the annual ceremony that serves as a rite of passage for all W&J students.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Kenny Clark ’18 addressed the matriculating students and shared the College’s mission statement and affirmation of peer to peer values, noting that W&J is a community that promotes diversity and respect. Clark presented these tenets under the College’s motto, Juncta Juvant, meaning “Together We Thrive,” and invited the students to embrace each other’s unique interests, backgrounds, and perspectives as they embark on the next step of their education. It’s something the students were asked to keep in mind following the ceremony, as they crossed the W&J College seal on the floor of Old Main and received their W&J pins to symbolize their entrance into the W&J community.
“As students at W&J we hold each other to a standard to achieve uncommon integrity as individuals and as a community,” Clark said. “In joining the W&J community you are asked to adopt these tenets for yourself and your peers.”
The Class of 2021 arrives with a wide array of interests and backgrounds, including numerous varsity athletes, five of whom were state champions in their respective sports; a number of writers, artists and musicians, with two book authors, a playwright, and a national art award winner in their midst; and countless volunteers, one of whom raised $75,000 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. One student is an 8th generation W&J legacy whose ancestor was appointed as a trustee to both Washington College and Jefferson College in 1802, more than 60 years before the two colleges joined.
Associate Professor of Physics Mike McCracken, Ph.D., who received the Senior Award for Faculty from the Class of 2017, offered words of wisdom to the incoming class.
“The next four years will fly by. Do not wait to take advantage of opportunities that will strengthen your education and differentiate you from your peers. You’ve no doubt heard about many of the amazing opportunities that are available to college students, some of which are unique to W&J. Research, internships, Magellan, volunteering, study abroad, domestic and international travel, clubs and organizations. We want you to do these things. We subsidize them. We facilitate them. Why? Because they are part of a comprehensive education,” he said.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.
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