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Campus Life

Matriculation ceremony to blend tradition, advice for the future

The banners of BU's undergraduate schools and colleges are displayed during Matriculation. Photo by BU Photo Services

This story was published on BU Today on September 2, 2005.

When Poonam Mathur (SAR’06) was asked to give the undergraduate allocution at the this year’s Matriculation ceremony, she thought about what she wished she had known when she was sitting in the audience three years ago.

“I just reflected on what I would have wanted someone to tell me,” says the 20-year-old human physiology major. “My advice is to use the resources they have here, whether it’s building relationships with others to learn from their experiences or just becoming involved in any kind of community.”

The 4,200 members of the Class of 2009 who will gather at Matriculation on Monday, are participating in one of the oldest collegiate traditions in history. Academic dress is worn by faculty and administration, banners representing Boston University’s undergraduate schools and colleges are displayed, and the academic mace and the President’s Collar — both traditional symbols of the University’s authority, reserved for important events — are included in the ceremony. Matriculation is the first of only two occasions where the group gathers in its entirety. The following and final time will be in four years at Commencement.

President Robert A. Brown, the recently appointed 10th president of Boston University, will give his first address to the undergraduate community at this year’s Matriculation ceremony, and upperclassmen, faculty, alumni, and members of the administration will also formally welcome the freshmen to the University. Mathur — a member of the Student Allocations Board, which distributes funding for student groups — will give the undergraduate allocution. CAS Professor Robert Pinsky, a former poet laureate of the United States, will give the indiction, and Derek Davis (CAS’86, LAW’89), a member of the Board of Overseers, will give the alumni allocution. Dean of Marsh Chapel Rev. Robert C. Neville, Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, Provost ad interim David K. Campbell, and the undergraduate deans also will participate in the program.

The Parents Convocation ceremony, where Brown makes his first public appearance as president of the University, will be held on Sunday, in the George Sherman Union’s Metcalf Hall.

Matriculation is at the Track and Tennis Center at 100 Ashford St., and begins at 10 a.m. Following the ceremony is the annual welcome event Splash! At Nickerson Field.

For more information on Matriculation, visit www.bu.edu/students/matriculation/index.html