September 7, 2009
First Night inducts freshmen into Homewood student body
Nearly 500 upperclassmen joined with the Class of 2013 for a candlelight ceremony.
In a show of unity, nearly 500 upperclassmen joined with the Class of 2013 for a candlelight ceremony on Homewood’s Wyman Quad on Wednesday evening. The ceremony kicked off the inaugural First Night, an opportunity for the upperclassmen to officially welcome and induct the freshmen into the Johns Hopkins student body on the opening day of the academic year.
The event began just before 10 p.m., after the freshmen filed out of the O-A Cappella Show, held in Shriver Hall, and onto the quad that was lined with 100 luminaries. The crowd totaled 1,300 students.
After a welcome from the Student Government Association, each class president offered advice and good wishes to the Class of 2013. When each finished, his class was asked to light its candles. At the conclusion of the speeches, the upperclassmen used their flames to light the freshmen’s candles, while, on cue, the Gilman tower bell rang. With all the candles now lit, they were raised in unison. The students then blew out the flames and let out a cheer.
“We saw it as a symbolic passing of the torch,” said Rachel Navarre, coordinator of campus programming in the Office of Student Life. “We never had an opportunity for the upperclassmen to officially welcome the freshman class, so that was part of the reason for starting what we hope becomes an annual tradition.”
After the candle lighting, the campus came alive with class parties. The freshmen went to the Glass Pavilion for ice cream and T-shirts imprinted with a replica of their class banner. The sophomores and juniors went to Levering Court for a bash that featured a DJ and flame jugglers. And the senior class partied at Nolan’s, the dining facility at Charles Commons.