The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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A Time-Honored Tradition

As the first day of class quickly approaches, it is time to be reminded of the great traditions of Rotunda Passage and Opening Convocation. These are two of the most revered events on the SMU campus because they symbolize the anticipation of new beginnings and a new year. Rotunda Passage and Convocation should be held dear in every Mustang’s heart and I want to encourage every student, first-year or upperclassmen, to attend Wednesday’s activities.

I tend to think of Rotunda Passage as your rite of passage into college. Though the action of physically walking through Dallas Hall, around the University Seal, and into the main quadrangle seems relatively simple, the meaning is far more significant than any of us can truly understand or appreciate until we graduate. It is the Alpha and Omega of the college experience. It represents the beginning and the end.

Opening Convocation launches the new academic year. It is the first time we gather as an academic community, students, faculty, staff and administration, to begin to shape the direction we will take over the next four years of college. Opening Convocation and Commencement represent the bookends of our academic career at SMU. This Wednesday we will come together as a SMU family to celebrate what lies ahead for each first year student.

So, you are wondering, what exactly happens during Rotunda Passage and Convocation? The first year class and any student who is new to the university will gather on the north side of Dallas Hall and then line up and walk through the building and under the it’s Rotunda together as one body. They will pass by the University Seal in the middle of the building. Then each student will enter the University through the front doors of Dallas Hall and will be guided by alumni, whose presence links you with our past and demonstrates love and devotion to their alma mater. Each student will then embark on the first-year processional from Dallas Hall to McFarlin Auditorium for the Convocation ceremony.

For the Class of 2006, Rotunda Passage and Opening Convocation symbolize the first-year journey to a new life as a part of the university community. It is a time to realize the importance of your next four years at SMU and to look forward to your college experience.

For upperclassmen, attending Rotunda Passage is a time for us all to greet the Class of 2006 with applause as they enter the university and become a part of our SMU community. I encourage each of you to meet on the lawns in front of Dallas Hall to congratulate the Class of 2006 as they take their first step into college life. Then join the rest of the community in McFarlin Auditorium for Opening Convocation.

Rotunda Passage was one of the most notable experiences of my years at SMU. I felt awe-struck as I realized I was about to embark on an adventure for the next four years of my life. Thus far, it has been nothing short of incredible, and I hope you are as excited about the coming year as I am.

Go to Rotunda Passage and the Opening Convocation! These two ceremonies are the most significant you will have as a student at SMU. Congratulations, Class of 2006, on the first step of your next four years at SMU. And upperclassmen, I will see you on the lawns of the main quad, as we get ready to enter the new year and greet those that will join us as SMU Mustangs.

Both events take place Wednesday, August 21, 2002. Rotunda Passage begins at 6:30 p.m. in Dallas Hall and Opening Convocation begins at 7:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

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