Monday, February 28, 2011

Our 'Ringing In' Ceremony

One of the more important traditions here at Wabash College is the ‘ringing in’ ceremony that every freshman partakes in. This represents the start of a challenging four year, yet fun journey through Wabash. During freshman weekend our president holds a mandatory chapel for the freshmen and their parents. He introduces and explains what it takes and how to become a Wabash man. It represents all the other young men before us who sat in the same seats we did and how their journey led them to become a Wabash man. This signifies a challenge that we need to uphold so we can pass the torch to the freshmen who come after us. The ‘ringing in’ ceremony represents a new beginning and a pledge to our parents that their sons are in good hands. This Wabash tradition is most important, because it represents a ‘passing of the torch,’ to young men who are just beginning their journey through our all male institute we call Wabash College.


  1. I agree with these symbols that the ringing in ceremony represents, but post-structuralists would further argue that more subtle symbols/relationships are represented by this ceremony. For one, this ceremony may not be as glorified in the freshmen's eyes as it is supposed to be. The ringing in ceremony may instead represent the beginning of four years of hell. For the parents, this ceremony may be a very sad one since by the end of the ceremony, their sons are officially college students who will no longer be at home with their family. Maybe the freshmen who are rung in are not ready for the challenge that they are expected to fulfill. Some students may not have come to Wabash to represent the men that have come before them, but for their own personal goals to simple get a great degree, networking opportunities, and a different experience than most other college students. In reality, the ringing in ceremony is different for every single student in the chapel because they all have their own agendas for their college experience and different ideas of what the college represents.

    This is also a tradition that all freshmen MUST go through in order to become a member of this school. The fact that this ceremony is mandatory seems to devalue the tradition. Traditions that one chooses to participate in are the true traditions at Wabash because one makes a conscious choice to respect the school or believe in what it stands for. I am sure many freshmen sit through the ceremony and are bored or not excited because it is forced upon them and they don't really care

  2. I think that you bring up an excellent point, this tradition is a way in which Wabash promises both parents and incoming students that the newfound Wabash brothers will be in good hands. Alex on the other hand mentions that this is a tradition that all freshmen must go through. I feel myself needing to ask the obvious question; what does this mean for the freshmen who didn’t attend? I feel that those freshmen who blow off one of the oldest traditions at Wabash just don’t get it, maybe their inability to respect the signified of Wabash means that they shouldn’t be Wabash men…