Only the beginning … Induction Class of 2019
Classes are officially underway, but most of the first-year students have been moved in since Sunday (Aug. 24), which also marked their official Induction into the Class of 2018 through a ceremony held on the Reese~Shackelford Common.
In his address to the class, President Adam Weinberg charged the group with taking advantage of their academic journeys, seeking challenges outside of their comfort zones, and stepping up in the classroom and in campus life. “If you take advantage of Denison,” Weinberg told the class, “it will open opportunities and ways of being that you cannot even imagine.”
Even though Denison is welcoming first-year students from all over the U.S. and from 38 countries, Nestor Matthews, chair of the faculty and associate professor of psychology, took his time at the mic to remind students that we all, essentially, come from the same place.
“Four score and seven million years ago, our ancestors lived on the remnants of an ancient continent that geoscientists call Pangaea,” said Matthews. “The descendants of our ancestors from that time went on to thrive in diverse ways. Some became magnificent blue whales. Some became bats that echolocate around Granville. Some became the deer on Denison’s campus. Still others became your classmates and professors.” He went on to encourage the class to expand its “intellectual universe.”
Every Induction Ceremony has its own special elements. The two students asked to carry the class banner — chosen because their hometowns are the closest and farthest from campus — were Janet Gregory, who lives two miles from Denison in Granville, and Nathaniel Edds, who traveled more than 9,300 miles from Singapore to be here. The class also heard the premiere performance of its very own “Fanfare for the Class of 2018,” composed by Professor of Music Ching-Chu Hu. And now, it won’t be played in public again until the college’s 177th Commencement exercises on May 12, 2018.
As the ceremony wrapped up, one of Denison’s a cappella groups, Tehillah, took to the stage to lead the group of nearly 1,000 (more than 600 members of the class, plus moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and one chocolate lab puppy) in the singing of the alma mater, “To Denison.”
Meghan Pearce ’16, president of the Denison Campus Governance Association, reminded the students that sometimes their college experience might boil down to seemingly small, but important, moments. Like the time she Skyped her dog and realized how close her connection to home had become since moving away. Or the late-night run to McDonald’s that solidified her friendship with a roommate. Or the evening she realized she had made the right college choice: “It was watching a sun set over our beautiful campus from the fourth floor of Slayter that made me grateful for my decision to be here, to learn here, and to grow here,” she said.
We wish the same for you, Class of 2018 — four years of meaningful moments that make up a successful Denison career.
Now, off you go.