Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls, it Tolls for William & Mary

Students Listen to Convocation Remarks

Admit It!  Everyone wants to feel like they belong.  Well at W&M, that feeling is at no time more evident than on Opening Convocation. Generally held on the first Friday of classes (thanks to Hurricane Irene this year’s Convocation was delayed one week), the entire freshman class and all new transfer and graduate students gather in the Wren Yard to be welcomed by the President of the College and a distinguished alumnus (previous Convocation speakers include Michael Powell ‘85, former chair of the FCC and son of Colin Powell and space shuttle astronaut David Brown ’78).

The Class of 2015 banner is unfurled

Additionally, the Student Assembly reveals the class banner for the newest class (the banner is then hung in the Sadler Center dining hall until the class graduates).

Then, as the Wren Bell rings opening another academic year, the new students process through the Wren Building to the other side where the upperclassmen, faculty and staff are gathered cheering, screaming, chanting and high-fiving away.

High-fiving the newest members of the Tribe

The entire procession usually takes 45-60 minutes and the hoopla does not die down for any single minute. This is because those who come here belong here. The 1949 version of the College’s student handbook states that while our historic institution is not short on traditions, the most important tradition is the first tradition, the tradition of belonging.

At Commencement, graduating students do this walk in reverse.  On the other side, families and loved ones are there applauding their four years of accomplishment.

No one does tradition better than William & Mary.  And that’s because we revel in celebrating our community and all those who belong here.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

Categories: Campus Life, Convocation, Faculty & Staff Blogs, Traditions & Events
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