Members of the Class of 2020 join the College during Matriculation ceremony

President William N. Ruud, presiding over his first Marietta College Matriculation ceremony, thanked the more than 300 parents in attendance for entrusting the safety and future of their children with the College.

“They probably don’t like to be talked about as children any longer, so we’ll call them emerging adults,” he said. “Some emerge at different paces than others, but they are emerging adults indeed and we are happy to be their partner. We’ll take good care of them. We’ll challenge them both inside and outside of the classroom, and over the next four years — students — you will grow and learn more than you ever dreamed about.”

Most of the 285 members of the Class of 2020 arrived Wednesday morning as part of the annual first-year move-in day. Matriculation is their official enrollment into the College, and like many of the students who matriculated before them, the Class of 2020 also joined The Long Blue Line Sunday by signing the historic and ceremonial books inside the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.

Provost Janet Bland was excited to see the new group of students, and was prepared to challenge them to live up to their reputation.

“Experts tell us you are part of a new a different generation — the next great generation. … You know what? I agree with them,” she said. “You are bright, driven and community oriented, and you are concerned with the well being of the people around you and of the world. So now’s the time for you to show the faculty what your priorities are, the ways you care and how hard you are willing to work.”

Chris Law ’10, representing the Marietta College Alumni Association, talked about the impact his alma mater has had on his life.

“Thanks to alumni, friends, colleagues and the College itself, I’ve been given some pretty amazing opportunities to learn and give back of my time and talents,” he said. “The College shines because of the people sitting in the seats next to you. You won’t believe what you learn about yourself in the next four years and beyond by learning about the people sitting next to you.”

Before the students were allowed to leave for a class photo and eat the post-Matriculation meal, President Ruud reminded Marietta’s newest students what a great place they have chosen to continue their education.

“We here at Marietta College treat everyone with respect, excitement, honor and we’re here to be your partner and stand beside you through the successes and the challenges,” he said.

On Thursday, the Class of 2020 will participate in a number of events like a welcome session with the provost, learning to navigate their schedule and dinner with their peer mentor.

Friday’s activities include their first FYS class, as well as dinner with the Dean of Student, Dr. Lisa Phillips. On Saturday, they either jump on a bus and head into the mountains of West Virginia for some white water rafting or to Columbus to watch “Wicked.”