Rites of Passage Ceremony Kicks Off Exciting Year for New Students

News Date
Students read their Class Pledge at a previous Rites of Passage Ceremony at Alabama State University. 
By Hazel Scott/ASU

The college years are meant to be transformative for traditional-aged students who come into a university as adolescents and leave as emerging adults. To help new students mark this moment, Alabama State University will host its in-person Rites of Passage Ceremony on Sunday, August 13, at 11 a.m. at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. The ceremony is part of ASU Welcome Week (August 13-19).

More than 1,000 new students, including students who have transferred from other institutions, and their families will have the chance to become acquainted with ASU by having orientation sessions before the official start of their freshman year.

“Freshman Orientation is a rite of passage every incoming freshman should experience,” said Dr. Freddie Williams, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Enrollment Management/Admissions…”It is students’ and parents’ opportunity to get to know their new ‘home away from home.’”

Williams pointed out the information-packed program is designed to provide students and parents with an overview of the University’s administration, campus resources and student support services.

“Freshmen will learn how things work at their new school and meet other students, as well as faculty and staff members. The orientation is also a chance for the school to start getting to know our new students,” Williams added.

Research shows that college orientation sessions increase students’ and parents’ connectedness to their institution, which decreases attrition in the first year.

The program will include President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. and the ASU family greeting the new students as they begin their academic journey.

Celebrity Taj Vaughn, actor/producer and former ASU student, will serve as the guest speaker.

“Having a speaker is new. He will give the students words of encouragement and tips on following their dreams,” Williams said.

Dressed in their “Sunday best” (which is black pants, white shirts and black tie for male students and black and white for female students), students will recite the Class of 2027 Pledge.

“This is a way for students to buy in early by making a pledge that they are going to graduate, participate and be good citizens of the University…This is just an added step we wanted to implement so that they will have a sense of togetherness…a sense of belonging by taking this pledge together.”