Holy Names University welcomed more than 140 new students and their families for move-in and the beginning of orientation weekend on Saturday, August 20. It was a beautiful, sunny weekend that included a number of events planned for incoming students and their families, notably the Rite of Passage ceremony, dinner with HNU Interim President Jeanie Watson, PhD, dessert with the Sisters, a school-spirit rally, academic workshops, a welcome Mass in McLean Chapel, and small-group orientation sessions.
On Saturday afternoon, incoming students were gathered in Corrigan Courtyard in preparation for their first HNU tradition, the Rite of Passage. Admissions staff led the students up the steps from the courtyard to the chapel while family and friends, who were lined up along the 106 stairs, cheered them on. As they made their way up the hill, new students found their names written on the steps in colored chalk—the contribution of members of the upper classes, who maintain the tradition each year of marking new students’ names on the steps the day before the Rite of Passage. The new students were greeted at the top of the steps by Vice President for Mission Integration Sr. Carol Sellman and directed toward the Public Market for their first official dinner on campus.
The Rite of Passage ceremony always includes remarks from the University's president. Watson, who was participating in the ceremony for the first time, delivered a heartfelt welcome to the students and their families. “We have been looking forward to your arrival and we are glad you are here,” she said. “The Rite of Passage ceremony, in which you just participated, is really an invitation and a celebration. We are celebrating the fact that you have chosen to participate in an extraordinary opportunity for personal and intellectual growth. And we are inviting you to take vigorous and deliberate advantage of this opportunity.”
Watson spoke about the self-discovery that often accompanies the pursuit of education. “As a liberal arts university, Holy Names has a commitment to intellectual curiosity and discovery and to the exhilaration that accompanies taking the risk of an imaginative leap,” she said. “So our invitation to you today, students and families alike, is to risk the unfamiliar and, for the next few years, join us on this journey of discovery and growth. Thank you and welcome to the Holy Names University family.”
Orientation activities continued throughout the week with community service projects and a University-wide barbecue event on August 23, a movie showing held on the lawn of the Corrigan Courtyard on August 25, and a student dance on August 26.