A series of traditional Orientation Week events at Monmouth College will lead up to the first day of fall semester classes on Aug. 28.
The incoming Class of 2016 will officially matriculate on Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. Held on the Wallace Hall Plaza, the matriculation ceremony traditionally marks the formal acceptance of students into candidacy for a degree, just as commencement marks the acceptance of students into the company of educated men and women.
Following welcomes from Philip Betz, director of admission; David Timmerman, dean of the faculty; and student government president Katey Shipp, a senior from Ladd, the new students will hear an address from President Mauri Ditzler.
After the audience joins in the singing of the “The Monmouth College Hymn,” the president will explain the commemorative coin that each new student will receive. Symbolizing the investment by previous classes in helping to build a college of lasting value, the coin holds the promise that this year’s entering class will continue to build upon that legacy for future generations of students. This year’s coin, the fifth in the series, pays tribute to the college’s Presbyterian heritage.
Senior Clarissa Gardner of Elk Grove Village, president of Mortar Board, will close the matriculation ceremony by leading the students in a pledge, and the students will recess to music performed by the Monmouth College Pipe Band. The ceremony is free, and the public is invited to attend.
Other events Saturday include the presentation of SOFIA (Summer Opportunities for Intellectual Activity) projects at 1 p.m. and a new student celebration, “It’s Great to Be a Scot,” at 8 p.m. at April Zorn Memorial Stadium.
Sunday’s orientation events include a program titled “What’s It All About,” which will be held at 10 a.m. in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. Other activities include an involvement fair, where student organizations, Greek Life and various clubs will be represented to solicit new members and participation in activities.
Following the Involvement Fair, the entering students will separate into three groups. One will hear President Ditzler speak about the history of MC’s presidents, another will hear local alumni talk about traditions they remember and another will see a video by current students. They will then switch off, so each group gets to attend each session. Immediately after that, all students will gather on the steps of Huff Athletic Center for a group photo. They will gather there again in four years for a graduation photo.
At 6:30 p.m., an outdoor chapel service will be held on the Peterson Plaza. At 8 p.m., students will be treated to a performance by comedian Adam Grabowski.
Monday, new students will be immersed in their academic experience with the first meeting of their respective Introductory to Liberal Arts classes. The common reading for this year is Michael Pollan’s “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.”
At 2:30 p.m., the annual Freshman Walkout will depart from the Dahl Chapel. The event will lead approximately 400 first-year students and transfers on a walking tour of downtown Monmouth, with several dozen local merchants and organizations offering introductory gifts and refreshments.