In This Strangest of Years, Matriculation Ceremony Provides Familiar Encouragement

ABOVE: The register holds the signatures of everyone who has ever attended Wyoming Catholic.

Yesterday’s Matriculation ceremony was certainly a unique one in the history of Wyoming Catholic College. Past ceremonies, open to the public, were held either in Lander’s Community Center or in Holy Rosary Church. This year’s events bore the unmistakable stamp of the Time of COVID. In-person ceremonies, restricted to the College community, took place in the arena the College uses for its Horsemanship Program, in keeping with the College’s plans to use outdoor spaces and increased distancing between students whenever possible.

Dr. Glenn Arbery, the College’s president, highlighted this unusual environment in his remarks to the assembled students, recognizing both that they were, in fact, unusual and that they were also particularly fitting for Wyoming Catholic. “Who else has Convocation Mass and Matriculation ceremonies in a horse barn? And where else would it have felt true to the nature of the education than at Wyoming Catholic College? Our presence today as a community is wonderful, and the arrival, in person, in these times, of the largest freshman class in the history of the College is a testimony of hope.”

Despite the unusual setting, there was a familiar mood gracing the day’s festivities—one felt even more strongly in these times than in years past: gratitude. This year more than ever before, the College is grateful to the town and state it calls home. Being in Lander affords WCC the opportunity to hold in-person classes for the extraordinary education the College offers at a time when many peer institutions are unsure whether opening at all is possible. Being here will have a profound effect on these new freshmen and on the whole student body (also the largest student body in the College’s history).

Dr. Arbery closed his remarks by saying that “this ceremony today is your formal entrance into the life of this unique college. In a few moments, you will come forward, one by one, to enter your names into the matricula, the register, which holds in it the signatures of everyone who ever came to Wyoming Catholic College. With this gesture, you will become a participant in the work we undertake to understand the truth together and to act in charity, with His grace, to bring about those things to which God has called us.”

College personnel setting up chairs in the arena before the afternoon’s Matriculation ceremony.

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