Students seated in Old Main during ceremony

W&J welcomes new students for the spring semester

Created: January 31, 2024  |  Last Updated: January 31, 2024  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (January 31, 2024) – Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) officially welcomed 19 students Tuesday, Jan. 23, with a special Matriculation Ceremony in Old Main with President Dr. John C. Knapp presiding.

The incoming group includes two international students – one from Germany and the other from the Netherlands. The rest of the group includes three freshmen and 14 transfer students from across Pennsylvania, New York, California and the District of Columbia.

These students continue the trend of growing enrollment at the College. In the fall, W&J welcomed a class of over 360 students from 16 states, the District of Columbia and eight international countries.

During the Matriculation Ceremony, President Knapp shared inspirational words and the history behind the tradition of crossing the seal and the tolling of the bells. 

As is a longstanding tradition, each student crosses the College Seal at matriculation and commencement, marking the start and end of their academic journey at W&J.

As president of the Student Government Association (SGA), Joseph Ioli ‘24 addressed the students, reflecting on his own W&J journey, specifically calling attention to a phrase he recently learned while studying abroad in Italy, “Dolce far nienti.” It translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

Ioli shared that it can “remind us to slow down and enjoy the journey,” which is his advice to the incoming students. “Appreciate every second…[W&J] is an amazing place,” he said.

The group also affirmed their commitment to the W&J Statement of Community Values, established by W&J’s SGA. They serve as the foundation for a life together in the W&J student community.

They include a commitment to:

  • Promote a culture of respect throughout the College community;
  • Respect the privacy, property and freedom of others;
  • Practice personal and academic integrity and expect it from others;
  • Respect the dignity and work of all individuals; and
  • Promote the diversity of opinions, ideas, and backgrounds of others.

Dr. Melissa Cook, associate dean of Academic Affairs and associate professor of communication arts, and Dr. Vivienne Felix, associate dean of students and director of the Center for Professional Pathways, were also present to welcome students.

A reception was held afterward with faculty and staff.

The spring semester began Jan. 24 for all students.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pennsylvania, 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 or call 888-W-AND-JAY.