Message to all incoming students from HNU’s Dean of Students Dr. Nicole Whitner:
If you were to navigate to the Holy Names University home page right now, you would see a looped video as the background image. That video is from HNU’s annual Rite of Passage Ceremony.
One hundred and six steps carry you from Corrigan Courtyard in front of the Cushing Library all the way up to the walkway that leads you on the left to McClean Chapel or on the right towards the Public Market and residence halls.
In a world unburdened by a global pandemic, that has taken too many lives and changed both our perspectives and practices with regard to nearly everything we do–you–like the generations of students before you, would be invited to climb these steps chalked with all of your names, along with all of your new classmates as your families, friends, mentors, supporters, and the entire HNU community cheered you along.
Last year was the first time I witnessed this ceremony and it is not an exaggeration to say that the energy is palatable. You can see, hear, and feel that the air is thick with curiosity, excitement, and a sense of unity. We are a family of learners and educators who rally around traditions, rise to new challenges, and embody radical hospitality. The Rite of Passage is only the first of many moments that serve to remind you of just how many people are here to see you through this fun and challenging journey of pursuing your education.
In 2020, the stairs are still chalked with your names and the ceremony is virtual, but it may be a while before you make your initial climb. And while we’re sad that we don’t get to follow all of our traditions in exactly the same ways as previous years, we are still energetic about welcoming you into the Hawk Family, and we hope you are too.
You represent the next, and arguably most resilient chapter of future HNU alumni. You are immersing yourself in a virtual learning community that presents novel challenges and new opportunities. With or without the physical action of ascending these steps, you are now a part of the Hawk family, and we are elated to bring you into the fold. So go forth, spread your wings, and join us in making this year hawking awesome!
Go Hawks and welcome class of 2024!