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USU Welcomes Class of 2023 with the Luminary Processional

Monday, Aug. 19, 2019

luminary A on the USU Quad

Incoming students of Utah State University will participate in the fourth annual Connections Luminary Friday, Aug. 23, at 9 p.m. The new tradition involves students enrolled in the USU 1010 Connections course, who will each light a luminary lantern shaped like the tower of Old Main, and will participate in a processional from the Spectrum to the USU Quad.  

“This is significant because it is the exact opposite route that the students take when they participate in commencement and receive their degree,” said Lisa simmons, director, Student Orientation and Transition Services.
Prior to the procession to the Quad, students will hear from Harrison Kleiner, who will speak about the significance of having an Alma Mater, and will frame the significance of the word commencement.  

“While many students see college graduation as an end, or a conclusion, it is, in fact, a beginning,” Simmons said.  “Just as students will commence their time at USU this week, their graduation from USU will be the beginning of many more opportunities made possible by their efforts while obtaining their degree.”
After processing to the Quad and posing for a class picture in the shape of the block A, students will hear from USU President Noelle Cockett, who will welcome them and explain the meaning behind “lighting the A blue” on Old Main Tower.  

“Lighting the A blue signifies a victory or honor bestowed upon the university or its students,” President Cockett said. “During their time at USU, students will encounter personal victories—both small and large—that they can compare to “lighting the A blue.”  

President Cockett will turn the “A” on Old Main tower from white to blue, in honor of the incoming class of 2023.
“By participating in the luminary, we hope students will focus on graduation from the very beginning of their college career, and that they will be better equipped to recognize their own personal victories along the way,” Simmons said.  “We hope students—many of whom could be considered the “Hogwarts generation”—will appreciate the ritual associated with starting a new phase in their life, especially one associated with the inspiring architecture of Old Main Tower.”
The public is invited to come to the Quad at 9 p.m. to hold a blue luminary lantern and to line up along the sidewalk as the new students walk to the Quad. Participants will be able to keep their lantern after the luminary.

Media Contact:

  • - Lisa Simmons, Director, Student Orientation & Transition Services, 435-797-1125

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