Denison University's Class of 2009 Is Installed as the Academic Year Opens
Posted: August 26, 2005
GRANVILLE -- Members of Denison's Class of 2009 gathered for the first time in Swasey Chapel on Thursday (Aug. 25), kicking off the university's annual August Orientation for first-year students. They were met by Dean of First-Year Students Laurel Kennedy who introduced them to the "August-O" staff, and shared a few words of wisdom before dispatching them to their first college convocation.
Banners adorning campus lampposts welcome members of the first-year class and their families.
Denison's newest students then processed down Chapel Walk to the picturesque Campus Common, where they would be formally inducted as members of the student body. As they arrived, they were greeted with applause by Denison's faculty, who were dressed in full academic regalia and positioned along the red-brick walkway.
Members of Denison's Class of '09 enter the Campus Common and are greeted by the faculty.
Denison's induction ceremony is designed to highlight the college's history and tradition, as well as the personal intellectual journey that each new student will undertake over the next four years. Amid the display of banners of previous class years, these newcomers were welcomed into the extended family of Denison students and alumni who have in common their commitment to a pure and ethical pursuit of higher learning.
University President Dale Knobel rings the College Bell to officially open the Class Induction Ceremony.
Following the procession, University President Dale Knobel rang the old College Bell, a tradition which marks the beginning of the annual event. Charlie Schmidt '06, president of Denison Campus Governance Association, then welcomed the Class of '09 on behalf of the student body. Schmidt described the lifelong bond of the Denison community as a set of values and traditions that will continue to guide and shape these new students' experiences at Denison and for the rest of their lives. He said they will find a strong sense of "community, civic engagement, pride in Denison, and scholarship, as these are the components that make up the very culture of Denison and create a foundation from which all Denisonians are bound to thrive."
Denison Campus Governance Association President Charlie Schmidt '06 welcomes the Class of '09.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Chuck Sokolik, chair of the faculty, also welcomed the class. He imparted insight and guidance, asking the Class of '09 to "be selfish with your time, putting academics above all else over the next four years." He also implored them, however, to "be generous toward the other members of the Denison Community."
Associate Professor Chuck Sokolik addresses members of the first-year class and their families.
The students, faculty and gathered families then heard, for the first time, the college's official "Fanfare for the Class of 2009," composed by Ching-Chu Hu, assistant professor of music. The piece will again be heard at the 2009 Commencement Exercises at which the members of this class will be awarded their bachelor's degrees.
President Knobel noted that this occasion marked a significant landmark in the college's history, as this group is Denison's 175th matriculating class. After a brief history of Denison's first academic class, Knobel discussed the this class's future on Denison's campus, characterizing the next four years "an odyssey." He described this journey by reading Constantine Cavafy's "Ithaka," a poem inspired by the Homeric epic. The poem concluded, "Wise as you will have become, So full of experience, You will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean." Knobel added, "Your Ithaka may be your degree, but your odyssey is your education, which ultimately, is more to be prized." This was followed by President Knobel's charge to the 624 members of the Class of 2009. As University Provost David Anderson and Vice President for Student Affairs Sam Thios joined Knobel on the podium, the president proclaimed:
"Newest Denisonians, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Denison University and as the representative of these learned members of the faculty, I induct you into the Denison Class of 2009 and enroll you among generations of men and women who have found this a place of learning and growing for one and three quarters centuries. May the voyage of education you begin tonight be a long one -- extending beyond these four college years -- 'full of adventure, full of discovery.' May this be the beginning of a 'marvelous journey,' and I charge you to become, indeed, wealthy with all you can gain on the way. Congratulations."
President Knobel delivers his "Charge to the Class of 2009."
The students then sang the college's Alma Mater, "To Denison," for the first time, to conclude the celebration. As they recessed, they took with them tassels which will be placed atop their mortarboards on their graduation day in the spring of 2009.
Dean Kennedy and the August Orientation staff have prepared numerous activities for Denison's first-year students over the next several days. A series of training sessions will be offered on Friday (Aug. 26), as will the traditional class picnic held at Monomoy Green on the Lower Campus Fine Arts Quad, next to the home of President and Mrs. Knobel. The annual Slayter Sizzle will conclude Friday's events as first-year and transfer students join the August-O staff for a night music and dancing. Students are also encouraged to join the Denison Community Association's service project, and auditions are also being held for the Denison Chamber Singers and the Concert Choir. A "Denison Discovery Tour" is offered on Saturday (Aug. 26), introducing students to "Denison's hidden treasures," including a bonfire at the Homestead (Denison's unique residential option for sustainable and environmentally responsible living), Latin dance lessons, and student entertainment at the Bandersnatch (a student-operated coffee house).
A centerpiece of the orientation programming will feature Associate Professor of Black Studies and Women's Studies Toni King and Associate Professor of Chemistry Jordan Fantini leading a discussion about "home, identity, and culture." August Orientation wraps up with events on Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 29, 30) as students participate in a campus-wide community cookout and the college's annual Involvement Fair which exhibits Denison's numerous co-curricular campus organizations and student activities.
Denison University, located in Granville, Ohio, was founded in 1831 and is a privately supported, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences, offering three different bachelor's degrees (B.A., B.S. and B.F.A.) among more than 40 majors and concentrations. Some 2,000 full-time undergraduate students represent 47 states and 34 foreign countries. Denison is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) and a founding member of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Denison's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1910. Dale T. Knobel is Denison's 19th president.
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