We love seeing each new entering class complete their introduction to our community, and thankfully Richmond has several special traditions to welcome new students and strengthen their connections to the Spider family.

Every UR alum can remember what life was like in their first few weeks on campus. A dizzying schedule of orientation, rigorous classes, and most importantly, figuring out how to navigate campus.

The intensity with which our students approach their pursuits make having a few sacred pauses especially important. That’s where our college traditions come in handy — whether it’s battling it out against other classes in Color Wars during Welcome Week or finding the student organizations to get involved with and lead.

Among our oldest welcoming traditions are Investiture and Proclamation. For those of you just tuning in, a little explanation may be helpful.

Investiture, Richmond College’s formal welcoming ceremony for students, is held in the Chapel. New students sign the honor pledge, receive their class coin, are presented with the class flag (which the previous class designs), and hear remarks from their dean and a fellow student. (Fun fact: the class coin is specially created for each class and was added as an Investiture tradition with the Class of 2015.)

Over in Westhampton College, first-years and seniors gather in the Chapel. For the first-years, the ceremony marks the beginning of their time at Richmond. They sign the honor pledge, write letters to their future selves, and hear encouraging words from an alumna. Seniors, who process in their regalia for the first time, are reminded of how far they’ve come and how much they’ve grown. They also get to open the letters they wrote to themselves three years earlier.

The scenes are always a great reminder of what makes Richmond such a special place. But don’t take our word for it! See more snapshots of Investiture and Proclamation in the slideshow above.