Allegheny College Welcomes Class of 2025
Allegheny College welcomed students in the Class of 2025 at today’s academic convocation and matriculation ceremony in Raymond P. Shafer Auditorium.
Allegheny President Hilary L. Link addressed the new students, who represent 353 high schools, 30 states, and 12 countries.
“This is a place that will push you to meet and to learn alongside others who come from vastly different places, experiences, identities, races, ethnicities, faiths, cultures, and political viewpoints,” Link said. “For some of you, you will meet people truly different from you for the first time — that is a large part of what college, and Allegheny, is all about: getting out of your comfort zone and learning to see and process the world and its complex problems from viewpoints other than your own.”
One-quarter of students in the Class of 2025 are first-generation college students. Approximately 58 percent of students in the class hail from outside of Pennsylvania, and 59 percent of students in the class graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school classes. Twenty-nine percent of students in the class identify as students of color.
First-year Class Dean Niki Fjeldal also addressed students during the ceremony, which was livestreamed for parents, families, and friends. She encouraged students to try new things, ask for help, set goals, and build community by making new friends and connecting with faculty and staff.
“Remember, you are not on this journey alone, in life or at Allegheny,” Fjeldal said. “I’m here for you every step of the way, and so is everyone else, to make sure that you have the support you need to realize your goals, think critically and creatively, and meet the challenges of our diverse, interconnected world.”
Fjeldal began her role in the College’s Maytum Center for Student Success this summer. As first-year class dean, she connects students with resources and activities, helps them to set and fulfill goals, and provides advising and support as they transition to college.
The ceremony also included remarks by Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Rodney Clark, Allegheny Student Government President Noah Tart, Student Honor Committee Chair Gannon McDonough, and Provost and Dean of the College Ron Cole, who formally accepted the class as the College’s newest students during the ceremony.
Clark, the most recent recipient of the College’s Julian Ross Award for Excellence in Teaching, shared insights on ways that students can engage with the academic rigor of Allegheny.
“First, you must have an honest conversation with yourself,” Clark said. “Think clearly about what you need to accomplish your goals. Decide to aggressively approach your coursework. Do not be afraid to be wrong … we learn from our mistakes. Make your presence known in class … but do not overdo it. Get to know your professors — they are there to help — and make use of their office hours.”
Tart is a senior economics major with minors in global health studies and mathematics. He encouraged the Class of 2025 to find the passions that will guide them to grow during their time at Allegheny. “But in order to grow,” Tart told students, “we must take a step into courage, open our minds, and allow ourselves to walk down paths we were previously afraid of due to trials and tribulations that may come … Follow your heart and the path will illuminate itself.”
A traditional part of the matriculation ceremony is the students’ pledge to adhere to the Allegheny honor code, which was initiated and developed by students more than 55 years ago. It is still voted upon by the student body every three years to ensure that each class has an opportunity to pledge their commitment to the honor code.
The academic convocation and matriculation ceremony is among the activities scheduled for Gator Week of Welcome, a week-long event that combines academic and social programming to welcome new and returning students to campus. In a new tradition, the second-year, junior, and senior classes will each gather for a class assembly and reception during the week. The Gator Week of Welcome activities lead up to the start of fall semester classes on Tuesday, Aug. 24.