A new normal calls for new traditions. The Franklin & Marshall Class of 2024 was eager to usher one in on Aug. 26.
The inaugural Lux et Lex Walk provided first-year students the opportunity to symbolically begin their College passage. Grouped by F&M's five College Houses, students completed a ceremonious walk beneath the metal arch spanning Klauder-Apple Walkway.
Inscribed with Lux et Lex – Light and Law – the arch captures the ethos of F&M. A display of flags lined the walkway to represent the 108 international students in this year’s incoming class.
Students received their respective house cords during the southbound walk toward the archway. At their 2024 Commencement, the same cohort will pass under the arch in the opposite direction to complete the tradition as seniors.
A live brass quintet, enthusiastic chants from house advisers, and applause from staff provided a cheerful soundtrack after an exceptionally quiet summer on campus.
The Class of '24 is composed of 601 first-year and transfer students. A total of 434 class members are studying on campus this semester, with the remaining 167 students studying virtually from all corners of the globe.
The class assembled virtually Aug. 23 for Franklin & Marshall College’s annual Convocation. College President Barbara Altmann officially welcomed the new students.
“You’re on a new step in your journey. You’re opening a new chapter in your life. And, Class of 2024, you are starting all new types of traditions,” she said.
“This is a pivotal moment for you despite all of the difficulties and the challenges. What you are experiencing is actually setting you up in a unique way and you may well end up on a different path – or paths – than you would have if everything had played out according to what we would have expected.”
The one-hour live-streamed event also featured remarks on behalf of the faculty by Gretchel Hathaway, vice president for diversity, equality & inclusion, and her son, Stephen Tyson ’07. Margaret Hazlett, vice president of student affairs, served as moderator while the speakers answered questions submitted by first-years during the virtual event.
Convocation marks the official start of the academic year; Franklin & Marshall’s fall semester classes began Aug. 26.
Watch President Altmann’s Convocation address in the video below.