08/28/2019

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At 2019 A Light on the Hill, students hold a candle to a new year

Annual CHaSS tradition says 'Welcome' to new freshmen and 'Welcome back' to all others

Some 400 CHaSS students of all varieties – freshmen to senior — gathered Tuesday evening for A Light on the Hill, the college’s traditional welcome to a fresh semester. In the dusk of Old Main, all in attendance lit candles and held them aloft, a field of bobbing lights in the shadow of the A tower.

Lighted candles often signify light and knowledge. “But tonight,” Dean Joseph Ward told the audience, “the candles are all about connection, about the sharing of the light, about the passing of the light.”

The ceremony followed an hour of conversation,  sign-up sheets for a couple dozen clubs, and, of course, snacks — like World’s Best Corndogs and Morty’s greatest grilled-cheese sandwiches. Then the students settled in at the amphitheater to hear the dean and other speakers like Tyler Tolson (Communication Studies, 2012) tell them that the new school year promises many good things.

Tolson, founder and owner of Denik, a maker of custom notebooks and journals, advised students to be passionate about what they care about, follow up with boldness, and to single out a BHAG  (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Tolson learned the concept from Comm Studies Professor Matt Sanders and has made it his life pattern.

“Here at this university,” concluded Dean Ward, “you are surrounded by people who want to help you reach your goals.” 

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