Opening Convocation| August 27, 2012
The following message was sent to the student body on Aug. 27, 2012 - Ed.
You know how much William & Mary glories in its traditions. This is seemly for a university as historic as the College. Plus, we do have spectacular traditions. In addition to creating new ones from time to time, every now and then we reinvigorate old ones. The changes to Charter Day that began in 2011 are a great example of reinvigoration in full cry.
One of our most important traditions is the Wren March – one way through the iconic Wren on Convocation Day and back the other way on Commencement Day. Another tradition of Convocation Day is unfurling a banner from a Wren balcony showing the numerals of the new freshman class. The usual “unfurling” balcony (the west one, facing the Sunken Garden) is now seriously under the weather. Indeed, it is so sick no one can stand on it. If 2016’s colors are to be flown from a Wren balcony on Convocation Day, the deed will have to be done from the east balcony, facing the Wren Yard and DOG Street. Also, there has been discussion for several years about whether it might make sense for new students to march through the Wren toward the campus when they first arrive at W&M and then, when graduating on Commencement Day, to march through the Wren away from the campus toward Colonial Williamsburg and the larger world.
Our Convocation Ceremony this year will be on Wednesday, August 29th at 5:15 PM. It will take place in the Wren Yard, rather than the Wren Courtyard. This will enable the class of 2016’s banner to be unfurled from the healthy east balcony, and our new students will march through the Wren heading toward the campus. Since dinner will await everyone in the Sunken Garden, our new students can keep marching toward the food after they bask in the cheers of the William & Mary community lining their path through the Wren Courtyard.
All this will have no effect whatsoever on how the classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015 march on their Commencement Days. Having marched east at Convocation toward Colonial Williamsburg, they will march west through the Wren at graduation toward the Sunken Garden.