UPDATE: Convocation will be held indoors at 4:00 p.m. in the Pizzitola Sports Center due to inclement weather. New students who wish to walk through the Gates together can do so tomorrow, September 6 at 12:00 p.m. along with President Paxson. Additionally, new students can walk through the Gates tomorrow at their convenience from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But don’t let the rain get you down; it’s still going to be a great day.
First-years: you’ve survived move-in, pre-registration, and awkward small talk at the Ice Cream Social. Mazel Tov! Now, it’s time to get initiated. Not in some creepy, cultish kind of way (unless you’re into that), but in true Brunonian fashion — by walking through the Van Wickle Gates.
If you ever went on an official tour of campus, you’ve heard the legends surrounding those famed gates: first years enter them during Opening Convocation to mark the beginning of their time on the Hill, and graduates walk out through them onto the streets of Providence to signal their departure. It’s very sentimental, one of those gratuitous Ivy League traditions that comes with the package.
It’s pretty easy to get caught up in it all. There are cameras everywhere, and no one ever really knows where to go. (Pro tip: through the Gates.) Faculty superstars (including Paxson herself) line up on the Quiet Green and sport their alma mater regalia to welcome you. They applaud you as you walk to the Main Green. You! The first-year! Savor that glory now, before those faculty superstars get real around midterms. We can assure you that Opening Convocation will be one of the most memorable moments of your life; check out our ways to make it count after the jump.