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CHSS students, faculty welcome new school year with candle-lighting

August 31st, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

By Cathy Morgan

LOGAN—The College of Humanities and Social Sciences held its first “A Light on the Hill” ceremony for students Monday night to welcome freshmen and returning students to campus and to give them a chance to meet their peers and professors.

Students gathered around a tent in the late-afternoon sunset on the lawn near Old Main for cookies and lemonade, talking with each other and faculty and college administrators. As the sun set, about 75 people migrated into the USU Amphitheater on Old Main Hill to listen to Dean John Allen introduce heads of the six academic departments and other CHSS programs, and to welcome the academic with a candle-lighting.

When asked why CHASS was suddenly interested in starting this new ritual, Dean John Allen said, “When it came time for students to graduate, they didn’t even know me, so I wanted to give them a better opportunity” to get to know the college and to build a CHSS college community and identity.

The dean’s administrative assistant, Natalie Smoot, a JCOM alumna, remarked that she wanted students to see who their professors and advisors are so when it came down to them having a problem, they knew who to go and talk to.

“What I like about this is that I get to see people and professors from past classes, or classes I have now,” said JCOM major Jordan Allred, news director of Aggie Radio.

A message the dean wanted students to take away from the ceremony was not to get hung up on achieving the degree, but to recognize the value of the journey through their college career.

“I don’t want things to be easy for you, I want it to stretch you and make you struggle,” Allen said. “It’s going to shape your future.”


CHSS Leadership—(from left) Brad Hall, head of the Department of Languages, Philosophy & Speech; Mary Leavitt, diector of the CHSS Advising Center; Norman Jones, head of the History Department, and Associate Dean Patricia Gantt gather for the college candle-lighting ceremony Monday.

CHSS SEASON OPENERCollege of Humanities & Social Sciences Dean John Allen (left) and Associate Dean Patricia Gantt address college faculty an students at the opening candle-lighting at the USU Amphitheatre Monday evening. Gantt read “Wild Geese,” a poem by Mary Oliver, as part of the ceremonies:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

OLD MAIN AT EVENING—A late August sunset illuminates Old Main as the College of Humanities & Social Sciences wraps up its opening candlelighting welcome for faculty and students.



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