WASHINGTON, PA (August 24, 2022)—Washington & Jefferson College welcomed nearly 400 first-year students at its Matriculation Ceremony held in the James David Ross Family Recreation Center on Aug. 23.
The ceremony—an annual event which introduces the campus community to the incoming class while sharing College traditions and insights with new students—championed growth and discovery with words of welcome from President John C. Knapp, Ph.D., Professor of Biology Jason Kilgore, Ph.D., and Student Government Association President Neil Pandit ’23.
Introducing the Class of 2026 as “one of the most racially and ethnically diverse to matriculate at W&J,” Knapp shared a bit of its makeup, recognizing students from 26 states and 10 countries, 71 first-generation students, seven high school valedictorians, 116 former athletic team captains, and a handful of others distinguished by their interests.
“You should know that this is one of the two most significant events on our college calendar,” Knapp said of matriculation, naming commencement as the second. “…[T]he college considers this an occasion of singular importance – a tradition ushering in not only a new academic year, but also a new journey for each of you.”
“Work diligently in the days and years ahead,” he continued, “to prove to yourself how much you can accomplish.”
Recalling his own undergraduate experience, Kilgore, who was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year by the Class of 2022, shared a similar message.
“Your liberal arts education will present many opportunities for you to discover your intellectual gifts,” he said, noting that courses, clubs, and community all contribute to that learning. “I really look forward to meeting you, to witnessing your discovery of your gifts, to having great conversations in and out of our classes together, to building community within this space called Washington & Jefferson College, and to the start of your college career.”
As a senior, Pandit offered students guidance for the journey.
“At W&J College, we pride ourselves as community members with uncommon integrity,” he said. “This means doing everything with full force, gusto, and passion…, serving our college community, and knowing that everyone has the potential to…make an impact.”
“If you get involved,” Pandit continued, “if you serve your W&J community, and if you help uplift your fellow students, you can ensure that we continue to thrive together.”
As always, the ceremony concluded with two Old Main traditions: ringing the bells and crossing seal—the former honoring W&J’s founders and the later signifying the students’ induction into W&J. The students will cross the seal again during their Commencement ceremony.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu or call 888-W-AND-J.