Washington & Jefferson College welcomed First Year students to the College in its annual Matriculation Ceremony Aug. 24, with words of wisdom from the College President, a faculty awardee, and the Student Government Association President.
“Today is one of the two brightest days on the College calendar. The other is Commencement. Both are about new beginnings and limitless possibilities,” said Dr. John C. Knapp, President and Professor of Washington & Jefferson College.
The annual Matriculation ceremony introduces the campus community to the incoming class, and shares College traditions and insights with new students. During his speech, Dr. Knapp noted that members of the incoming class come from 212 secondary schools across 25 states, one U.S. territory, and 14 countries outside of the United States. He also called out a remarkable array of leadership positions class members have held as team captains, class presidents, valedictorians, volunteers, and organization presidents, as well as Eagle Scouts and outstanding entrepreneurs, musicians, actors, poets, dancers, and athletes.
He encouraged students to take full advantage of available academic resources and support services, work diligently to prove to themselves how much they can accomplish in all facets of campus life, and work with each other to foster an inclusive and caring campus community.
Student Government Association President Jess Skobel ’20 also welcomed the class, sharing insights and wisdom for their next four years at W&J based on her own experience. She encouraged students to start fresh, join campus organizations and find their passions.
“You’re becoming part of a new family. You have the chance to make connections in this family that will last you a lifetime,” she said. “You have the chance to take opportunities in this family that will foster your personal growth. You will make us all proud of you.”
Additional highlights of the ceremony included a talk by Dr. Leslie Dunn, associate professor of economics, who was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year by the most recent graduating class.
“You will grow and change significantly over these four years. It is something that you might not think is possible now, but we see evidence of it every day in the students that we have watched grow and change from freshmen to senior year,” Dr. Dunn said. “You will find your passions in your studies that will guide where you will go with your career. You will make friendships that will last for the rest of your life. You will begin discovering many things about yourself and finding out who you truly are.”
See a gallery of photos from our 2019 Matriculation Ceremony below.