Matriculation welcomes new students
Another school year began with a boom when the St. Martin’s community welcomed all new members of the Upper School at the annual matriculation ceremony. In the chapel on Thursday August 19, all 46 freshmen and new members of the sophomore, junior, and senior classes were embraced into the student body with open arms.
This year, junior Alexis Akers, sophomore Ethan Kann, sophomore Kaitlyn Tillery, and junior Isobel Ramsay offered gifts to God representing the four disciplines: academics, music, athletics and religion. The event closed with the ignition of the Light of St. Martin’s, a symbolic way of starting the year united as a community.
Another exciting factor of matriculation is the procession of new students into the chapel, where at the end they sign the St. Martin’s Honor Code.
Mary Bond, Upper School math teacher, has witnessed 16 consecutive matriculation ceremonies and said it is one of St. Martin’s most important traditions.
“I think there is a sense of awe the first time you walk into the chapel, and you’re being escorted by a senior on campus, and the entire community is there and welcoming you,” Bond said. “I think you realize very quickly that in the pattern of following the person in front of you and seeing everyone smiling at you as you walk down the aisle it starts to feel like you are a part of a community.”
Ella Bozeman, freshman class president, felt that entering a new environment can be daunting and intimidating, so matriculation made new students feel welcome and more at home.
“Even though I’ve been going to St. Martin’s for a while, high school does feel like being new because at first you don’t know any of the other grades,” Bozeman said. “It is scary to be the new kid, so having someone to be a friend and to welcome you was really nice.”
Bozeman’s experience with the ceremony was especially impactful to her due to her family’s history with the St. Martin’s community.
“My mom and her brother went here, and her mom taught here,” Bozeman said. “It was kind of exciting because my mom’s name is in the book and now I’m signing my name! I was hit with that feeling of getting older, so it was a little sad as well, but overall, I felt confident and just strong. It’s been a long journey.”
Not only is matriculation influential for the new members of the community, it is also a significant experience for the seniors. As their time at St. Martin’s begins to dwindle, it can be a sentimental time for seniors to come somewhat full circle, starting their first and last years of high school in the same way.
Senior Lydia Greene reminisced about her experiences walking down the aisle during both her first and last matriculation ceremonies.
“I was significantly less nervous as a senior,” Greene said. “I also remember finding comfort in the fact that the senior who escorted me [as a freshman] then became another friendly face in the hallway, only this time I am that senior.”
According to Bond, matriculation is just another way the St. Martin’s community brings people closer together every single year.
“It really is a statement,” Bond said. “It just screams, ‘You are now one of our family,’ All of those traditions commit us to the community.”