Class of 2014 welcomed as alumni

By Eliza Macdonald

Contributing Writer

The class of 2014 celebrated First Night last Friday night in Rooke Chapel.

“It was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. I wasn’t expecting the class to go along with it. The fact that the class cared made the work we put into it worth it,” said Tory Cutting, Vice President of the class of 2014.

The colors for the class of 2014 were announced to be royal blue and silver. With these colors, the crest is embroidered with the Christy Mathewson gates on top of the shield. The gates symbolize the class’s time beginning here at Bucknell and that the next time they pass through the gates they will be beginning the next phase of their lives. The shield represents the strength of the class and that as a class they will come together to form an indivisible group. The that includes a tree, a candle and the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library.

The candle on the right side of the shield symbolizes light, life, and compassion. The Oak tree adjacent to the candle represents eternal growth, and the Bertrand Library anchors the shield as “a symbol of our school and a reminder that education, enlightenment, and self-betterment, is the root of why we are here,” said Clinton Kittrell ’14, Class Representative.

On both sides of the shield are bison to represent the strength and determination of the University, and below all of this is the class motto in Latin: “Praeteritum, Praesens, Posteritas,” which means, translated, “Keep the past in heart, the present in mind and the future in sight.”

Class president, Lindsay Smith’14, said“ First night is a wonderful university tradition that brings together the first year class. It allows everyone to reflect upon our first semester and look at future and see how we’ll always be a part of the bucknell community. I think it is a very meaningful ceremony.It’s especially meaningful for the student body to interact with alumni representatives. I hope that we all make the most of our time at Bucknell, appreciate every minute, take advantage of all of the resources and every opportunity that is afforded to us by being members of the university.”

The motto and crest symbolize “the fact that our time here is timeless and we want to make the most of it. Bucknell will always be a part of us,” said Cutting and secretary/treasurer Sara Girmay ’14.

First Night is a celebration that initiates first-years as official members of the alumni community and marks the successful completion of their first semester at the University.

“First Night, as we know it today, began in 2001 with the class of 2004. It was then that the origination of developing a class motto, crest and colors began, in addition to serenading the President and his wife with the alma mater at the President’s house,” Dean of Students Amy Badal said.

After hearing the speeches of the class representatives, the first-years followed them down to the President’s house by the light of glow-sticks, where they sang the alma mater as a class.

“It was a great night that symbolized the beginning of the rest of our lives as Bucknellians,” Chet Otis ’14 said.

Most students felt that their representatives did a great job preparing for what most thought might be an unexciting ceremony. The ceremony also included a contest to see what hall could scream loudest, a slideshow, and a segment called “True Life: I’m a First-Year at Bucknell” that gave profiles of all the first-year representatives.

“It was really refreshing to look around and see most of our first-year class together and really attentive and being a part of our alma mater,” Girmay said.

Along with the speeches given by each representative, students heard from the Alumni Board representatives. Erika Stanat ’90, President of the Alumni Board Association, spoke about how alumni remain a part of the University community. As alumni, first-years have resources available to them in most parts of the world and need only to look back to their alma mater for help.

“The energy from the first-year students was fantastic. The alumni representatives consistently commented on how engaged and receptive the class was to learning what it means to be a Bucknellian,” Badal said.

While First Night brings into perspective for the first-years that their time here is already one-eighth of the way complete, their time as University students will never really end.

“Our hope is that the first-years maintain this pride in their alma mater and continue to love and serve the institution long after they graduate,” Badal said.

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