Washington Adventist University (WAU) welcomed the class of 2016 with its traditional Gateway ceremony and dinner held in the dining hall and on the commons, August 28. The refurbished dining hall with its shiny new furniture provided the perfect backdrop for the ceremony welcoming the freshman class.
Following move-in exercise, August 27 and 28, the freshman class was formally welcomed by university leaders; faculty; and staff at the ceremony, which began in the dining hall before moving to the commons. There, students walked through The Gateway to Service—a symbol of their desire to be trained for a life of service at WAU. Upon graduation, students will again, symbolically exit The Gateway to begin to serve the wider community.
“It was an exciting and impressive ceremony for incoming freshman and their parents,” said Associate Provost, Patrick Williams, Ph.D. “Many of the students had seen the campus before as high school juniors. They have returned to see the transformation on the campus—the café the dormitories, the new music building, and many other improvement on campus. They are getting a sense that the University is investing in their education.”
Williams said he is certain that WAU will maintain record levels of enrollment this year—close to or even exceeding last year’s 1493 students, the highest in the
Fitzroy Thomas, director of the Betty Howard Center for Student Success officially welcomed the students and led the First Year Experience Charge: “Each day is a gateway to life. Each moment we are breathing, we have a chance to experience joy and contentment. Each morning, God’s mercies are poured out anew; each dawn is a fresh start, each sunrise a new beginning,” he said.
In its response, the class of 2016 declared:” We realize that we have a new start in a new place, with new people and new expectations for us. Right now our slates are clean…With God’s help, we have the opportunity to put into motion lives we have only seen as distant dreams. Success and the future are here for the taking.”
In addition to Williams and Thomas, other administrators in attendance included, President Weymouth Spence, Ed.D.; Jean Warden, vice president for student life; Patrick Farley, executive vice president for finance and administration and Baraka Muganda, Ph.D., vice president for Ministry.