Students, faculty and staff met for the final Chapel of the 2016-’17 academic year on Tues., April 25.
Graduating seniors gathered in a circle holding a strand of ivy that had covered the exterior of the Kellenberger Library. As Dr. Doyle Srader read the message each senior had written about their Northwest Christian University experience, the piece of ivy they were holding was cut away from the longer strand the rest of their classmates were holding.
Dr. Srader explains the significance of The Cutting of the Ivy:
“The Cutting of the Ivy dates back to the 1920s, although not at NCU. It was invented by an international student from Africa, and first adopted at a small college in the Midwest.
At orientation every year, the arriving freshmen participate in a ritual called the Twining of the Ivy, where they all take hold of a strand of ivy, and then they close in together and we pray over them to symbolize the joining of the ring.
Then shortly before graduation, the graduating seniors take part in the Cutting of the Ivy. Beforehand, they submit a short written farewell to the NCU community. Then, they all hold an ivy ring of several strands, and after a faculty member reads each senior’s farewell, a member of the junior class cut the senior free from the ring.
The symbolism is that their time at NCU, their education, is not something amputated and dead, but rather something alive to be taken on the road with them, to their next home, and planted. There, their education can put down roots, can be watered by new lessons, and can continue to thrive.”
NCU graduation is Sat., May 6, 10 A.M., Morse Event Center.