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placeholder  September 7, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
College Information Guide

As the Class of 2019 climbs the 106 steps, Holy Names faculty and staff, as well as family and friends, cheer them on.
All: KEVIN HYDE/HOLY NAMES UNIVERSITY

HNU welcomes students with Rite of Passage

Holy Names University President William J. Hynes and HNU faculty and staff led the Class of 2019 through the Rite of Passage ceremony Aug. 22 on the Oakland campus. The Rite of Passage is part of the orientation activities for new students and celebrates and symbolizes the beginning of their educational journey through an ascent from the bottom of the hillside campus to the top.

Students walk up the steps from the lower part of the Holy Names University campus to the upper, passing their names, which have been written in chalk by the sophomores, juniors and seniors.

The 106 stairs at the center of the campus are at the heart of this traditional climb that marks the beginning of the entering student's college experience. Prior to this celebration, returning HNU students participate in a ritual the day before the ceremony: They inscribe each new student's name in pastel chalk on the steps leading to the top of the campus.

When the official Rite of Passage climb begins, the parents, family and friends of the incoming students, along with university faculty and staff, gather on both sides of the stairs. Students begin at the bottom of the stairs and with each step on their journey to the top, they see their names written on the steps and are welcomed to Holy Names University with the encouragement of cheers and applause by family, friends and staff.

The ceremony always includes an official welcoming message from the university president. Hynes took the opportunity to speak about some of the core values of the university and what the new students could expect from their time there. "Welcome. This is your new extended family and home, and we're delighted you're here. This experience will transform your life, we promise you," Hynes said.

"We ask you, as you come through the door, to begin to accept our core values. Those values are human dignity, radical hospitality, social justice and, lastly, working for the common good. You will do things here that will be for your good, that's true, but you'll do things here that will be for the good of others, too," he said.

For additional information on Holy Names University, see www.hnu.edu.

 
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