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March to Matriculation

University to welcome the Class of 2011 on Labor Day

The Class of 2011, at about 4,200 strong, will gather for Monday's Matriculation Ceremony at the Track and Tennis Center. The only other time the class will be together as a whole will be at Commencement, in May 2011.

Many factors led to Adil Yunis’ separation from fellow College of Arts and Sciences freshmen at the 2004 Matriculation Ceremony. He had been in Boston for only a week and on campus even less than that. He had underestimated the time needed for the trip from his dorm to the Track and Tennis Center, had frantically checked in, and by a stroke of misfortune had taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way. 

But when the CAS students were asked to stand, Yunis (CAS’08) sensed it didn’t matter at all that he was seated in the School of Management section.

“I could see everyone in the actual CAS section standing up, knew I was in the wrong place, but decided to stand anyway,” says Yunis, who will give the Undergraduate Allocution at this year’s Matriculation Ceremony, on Monday, September 3. “Suddenly, I realized that a bunch of the SMG students around me were getting up, clapping and cheering too!”

The impact was undeniable. “I felt that day that I had become part of a real family, a real community,” he says. “You’re surrounded by all your peers, and each of you is beginning this path that will shape the person you will eventually become in society.”

Matriculation is the formal welcome of the Class of 2011 to the BU community. Yunis will be one of several speakers addressing this year’s freshman class, which is expected to number approximately 4,200 students. They will be arriving from every U.S. state except South Dakota, and 56 different countries. On paper, the class is also one of the strongest academically in recent times, according to Kelly Walter, executive director of admissions; 51 percent of incoming first-year students were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

Also scheduled to speak are President Robert A. Brown, Provost David Campbell, Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, Sir Hans Kornberg, a University professor and a CAS professor of biology, and Steven Karbank (CAS’79), president of the BU Alumni Council. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in the Track and Tennis Center, at 100 Ashford St.

In keeping with tradition, students will first parade from Danielsen Hall, 512 Beacon St., to the Track and Tennis Center beginning at 8:30 a.m., stopping at dorms and University landmarks along the way until the entire incoming class is in tow. Escorted by police motorcycles, the class will be led by Elmore and University Marshal Theo De Winter, carrying the University mace, representatives of the Boston University Alumni Association, and the executive board of the Student Union. University Road, the BU Bridge, and Babcock Street will be closed between 8:30 and 10 a.m.

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.