The Class of 2015 took their first stroll together down Chapel Walk on Thursday evening under blue skies strewn with puffy white clouds.
Marching onto the Reese~Shackelford Common, the 614 first-years were greeted by enthusiastic applause from brightly robed faculty, proud family members, and friends, who had gathered for the Class Induction, one of the college’s most moving ceremonies.
President Dale Knobel opened the event by ringing the historic Denison bell, which was forged in 1855 for the college.
Senior Rob Moore, president of the Denison Campus Governance Association, encouraged his new college mates to use the next four years not only to find what they love, but to find joy in the process of getting to know themselves and each other.
Julie Houpt ’75, vice president of institutional advancement, welcomed the newest members of the Denison family on behalf of the Society of the Alumni. She then presented the 2015 class banner to the two students whose homes are farthest from and nearest to the college: Malhar Joshi of Singapore, who traveled 9,558 miles to attend Denison, and Sam Moller of Granville, who grew up about 300 yards away from campus.
Wishing the class four years of magical learning and discovery, Chair of the faculty and Associate Professor of English Linda Krumholz defined the importance of face-to-face interactions and advised them to embrace the discomfort that sometimes comes with new experiences. And, with a nod to young Mr. Potter himself, she suggested that, along the way, they might just find their own patronus.
A brass quintet played “A Fanfare for the Class of 2015,” composed by Assistant Professor of Music Mark Wade. The next time it will be performed will be during this class’s Commencement Exercises in May of 2015.
In his remarks to the newest group of Denisonians, President Dale Knobel explained that each of them would be creating his or her own “life film” over the next four years, with each experience creating a frame in their own personal movie. He charged them to make it a production that has intention and coherence.
The ceremony concluded with a rousing bluegrass take on the traditional alma mater, after which the students and their families said their good-byes, leaving Denison’s 181st class to begin creating the next chapter of the college’s long and distinguished history.