Northland College officially welcomed more than two-hundred new students Friday, September 9 with a ceremonial walk, convocation address, and Everybody Party, sponsored by the Northland College Student Association. Drummer Stevie Matier led the Class of 2020, pounding a Lambeg drum from northern Ireland, over Bay City Creek, across the Fenenga bridge, to the campus mall, where students, staff, faculty, alumni, families, and friends stood cheering and clapping. Students then dropped ceremonial Lake Superior stones, given to them during Outdoor Orientation, into a bag. The stones will be returned to them on graduation day when they march across the Wheeler Bridge.
Sitting on the campus lawn under blue skies and sunshine, an Ojibwa drum circle played an honor song and several people—including Director of the Indigenous Cultures Center Katrina Werchouski and President Miller—welcomed students encouraging them to show up, get involved, and take advantage of all the opportunities to contribute and learn in the region. Associate Professor of English Alan Brew further hit on these themes and encouraging students to immerse themselves literally into Lake Superior and metaphorically into Northland College.
“Learning is not a passive activity and an education is not something you can purchase—you cannot just fill in your billing information and then check out,” Brew said. “Instead, learning is a journey of discovery.” (read the full speech here)
Afterward, everyone ate from a buffet table of local foods and danced as three bands played well into the evening.