North Carolina Newspapers

    4 The Compass Wednesday, October 26. 1994
Freshmen Ren#a Barnes and KtoniciaUtttejohn (at right) hoWthek-1 Can" cans during the FalConvo(atkxi. The cans, whk^iwll hold a written 1st of students’goais, were the branch
of Charx»lbr Jimmy Jenkins. Other freshmen pictured are, from left, Jamie Watson, Keavin Freeman, Chuck Morris, and Jermaine Carter.
Freshmen receive “light of knowledge”
during Fall Candlelighting ceremony
"In this hour of darkness, the worid has
no other guide to give you other than this
With these words. Student Govern
ment Council President Tarik Scott caj>-
tured the essence of the Fall Convocation
and Candlelighting Ceremony held Sept.
25 in Moore Hall.
The purpose of the ceremony is to in
duct the freshmen class into the Univer
sity family. According to tradition, fresh
men are welcomed as youth in a world of
darkness who receive the light of knowl
edge, symbolized by one lighted candle
held by an upperclassman. The class of
1998 received the light of knowledge from
"Into your hands each generation
thrusts the dead ashes of its failure," the
students were told. "But youth gives the
woridits dreams. Youare the living flames
to purge and brighten humanity."
Earlier in the programs tiie freshmen
were officially welcomed into the Uni
versity family by Dr. Helen Caldwell,
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
"Here at Elizabeth Qty State Univer-
aty you will find a fun^oning family
and culture to lead you into the workl,"
‘'Into your hands each generation thrusts the
dead ashes of its failure...”
said Caldwell. "You will learn to think
critically and act responsibly in a diverse
society." In a surprise twist to tradi
tionally solann ceremony, the freshmen
also received small cans from Elizabeth
City State University Chancellor Dr.
Jimmy Jenkins, who told the students
they were to deposit in their cans a writ
ten list of the goals they hope to achieve.
Jenkins said the cans would be collected
attheendoftheacademicyearand opened
in another ceremony.
'The cans will be opened later to see
how many goals have been achieved,"
Jenkins added.
Accordir^ to the written script for the
ceremony, which dates back 60 years at
Elizabeth Qty State Uni versity, freshmen
are toki that hope, along with awareness,
beauty, truth, faith and k)ve comprise
ligjit—and that the youth of the world are
bearers of the light
Freshmen partkdpiants in the service
included Angela Lewis, of Manteo; My-
Chelle Siaw and Melissa Young, of Eliza-
bethQty; Francis Sakala,of Lusaka,Zam-
bia,'Tamara Hedgebetii, of Elizabeth Qty,
and Floyd Fayton, of Virginia Beach, Va.
Lynetta Jordan, Miss ECSU, spoke on
the purpose of candlelighting. "You are
the salt of the earth," said Jordan. "If the
salt loses its flavor, who will salt the
earth?" Chancellor Jenkins introduced
the guest speaker. Dr. Samuel Proctor,
Professor of Divinity at EHike University.
Jenki ns praised Proctor as a speaker "who
makes you understand this life isn't just
at»ut self and the gratification of acquir
ing material things, but about a higher
spiritual calling."
Jenkins also debvered his traditional
charge to the freshman class. "You can be
whatever and whoevCT you want to be,"
he said. The University Choir, corniucted
by Billy C. Hines, performed "Set Me a
Seal," and "Every Tin« I Feel The Spirit."
The candleli^ting service was first
created by Eva J. Lev«s, an En^h in
structor, during the John Bias Adminis
tration, according to A History of Elizabeth
State Unixjersihf. a Story of Suruival by
Evelyn Johnson. The service was first
used as a vesper program and was usu
ally sponsored by the Nautilus Qub of
which Ms. LewTS was a sponsor.
Edna Harris Mitchell, chairperson of
the Department of English, created the
first vmtten version of the ritual, accord
ing to Johnson's book. The written ritual
was later revised by Bernard Peterson,
director of drama to be more in keeping
with issues modern young people
struggle with.
Peterson added into the service the
idea (rfyoutti'squest for the lightofknowl-
edge while they are disillusioned by ig
norance, poverty, crime and war. And he
concluded that hope,beauty, truth,aware-
ness, faith and k)ve are represented by
the lighted candle, which, when passed
to the new generation of college students,
is able to ultimately reach around the

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