On the evening of November 5th, graduate students and faculty in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences gathered in the Sunken Garden to celebrate the second annual "Lux Doctorum" to celebrate the arrival of our newest graduate students. Honors are also given to alumni/ae who received their degrees before the establishment of this tradition. Graduate Students don academic robes and partake in a ritual in which first year graduate students, and current students yet to be initiated, are given Bryn Mawr College lanterns. Students light their candles as a symbolic gesture welcoming them into the community, before signing their names in a tome of graduate students who have received lanterns in the past.
The tradition is an important step in entering academic life at the college. "Lux Doctorum," meaning “light of the learned,” represents the transitional phase graduate students undertake in their pursuit of higher education and ultimately, scholarly excellence. In accordance with Bryn Mawr College’s most revered and unique of traditions, graduate students received lanterns – yellow in color – which are handed down to first year students by their forebears.
Graduate students Shannon Dunn (Archaeology), Cassie Gates (Chemistry), and Mary Sexton (Chemistry) served as mistresses of ceremonies and Paul Shorey Professor of Classics Radcliffe Edmonds III read passages from Plutarch’s de audito and the 7th letter attributed to Plato, with remarks about the arduous, rewarding path towards intellectual enlightenment. The tradition was inaugurated in 2017 as a collaborative effort between the Graduate Student Association, the Alumnae Association, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Alum Samantha Pezzimenti (Ph.D. ’17, Math), who was primarily responsible for establishing the tradition, attended this year’s event to show her support.