Torchlight Procession 2018 Decision Announced


Casey outlined coming changes, and included a picture of the final torch.

Jackie Dowling, Editor-in-Chief

On Tuesday, April 10, members of the Colgate community received an email from President Casey in the afternoon, communicating the details of this year’s Torchlight procession. The discussions pertaining to this event reached a wide range of audiences among members of both the on and off campus communities. Following discussions and forums held by various student groups, the creation of two Torchlight Working Groups and engagement with Artist in Residence Barnaby Evans, Casey wrote to summarize this month-long process and announce the decisions that had been made. 

Clearly expressed in Casey’s email was a desire to positively refine the way Colgate celebrates its few traditions. An emphasis was placed on the expression of values and the potential for this ceremony to inspire connectedness across class years. Music, scale and enhanced organization, he believes, will help to achieve this goal.       

The change most anticipated by the community was the choice to use a brass torch that will reflect the torch depicted in Colgate’s seal. This will replace the wooden torch used in previous procession ceremonies. Following a donation by a former member of the Alumni Council, the Class of 2018 will have the option to keep their torch. 

Among the changes made to the ceremony will be a new walking route, one which will include Willow Path and conclude at Whitnall field and a scaled-up inaugural reception providing music, dancing and, to the certain delight of the will-be graduates, champagne. 

Although the email included a definitive plan for this year’s commencement, Casey stated that Colgate will evaluate the results of this year’s ceremony and engage the possibility for change as the university celebrates its bicentennial next year.     

Contact Jackie Dowling at [email protected].