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Back to school

Barry McNamara
A series of traditional Orientation Week events at Monmouth College will lead up to the first day of fall semester classes on Aug. 23.

The incoming Class of 2015 will officially matriculate on Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. Held on the Wallace Hall Plaza, the formal 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 Omar Correa, vice president for enrollment management; David Timmerman, dean of the faculty; and student government president Alex Holt, a senior from Evanston, 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 two symbolic ceremonies. In the first, each student will be presented with a commemorative coin, 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 matriculating class will also participate in the Scot Soil Project, a ceremony related to the formal dedication of the cornerstone for Monmouth College’s Center for Science and Business, which will be held earlier that afternoon at 1 p.m.

Senior Elizabeth Keturi of Chillicothe, 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 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on the Huff Athletic Center concourse and a new student celebration 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 “Scotstravaganza” and an involvement fair, which will both be held in the Huff Athletic Center. At 8 p.m., students will be treated to a performance by comedian Kelly Taylor.

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.