Tradition lives on: Class of ’19 presents banner

The Class of 2019 drew inspiration for their banner from those who have come before them.

During Commencement rehearsal on Friday, graduating seniors Julie Hild, Haley Hudler and Kevin Scrudders presented the class banner to President Rob Huntington, joining generations of alumni in fulfilling the unique Heidelberg tradition.

“When we were thinking about our banner, we looked at the traditional banners (in Wickham Great Hall), and we really liked the simplicity of them,” Haley said.

Implicit symbolism

The banner predominantly features segments of the Heidelberg tri-colors of red, orange and black that intersect to form a diagonal cross.

“When we look at the 2019 banner, we see a crossroads … a crossroads in time and place,” Kevin said. “The cross represents the transition, the dividing line, between Heidelberg student and world citizen.”

The banner’s lamp of knowledge – similar to the central image on Heidelberg’s official seal – represents the liberal arts. “Our class has many majors but we all have a Heidelberg education,” Kevin said.

Beneath the lamp, there are two books, one blue and one green. Julie explained that the colors were chosen because they frequently appear on the older banners in Great Hall. “We chose those in homage to the Heidelberg banners that came before ours,” she said.

President Huntington was impressed by the banner’s design. “The shape, the seal, the clarity of the colors … I just like it a lot,” he told the class. “You all should be proud of it. This is a really great banner.”

The banner will be displayed in Campus Center for one year. A year from now, it will be archived with all past class banners. On each milestone reunion – five-year, 10-year, and continuing every five years until the last member of the class passes away – the banner is brought back out for each reunion celebration. Banners representing the 32 classes with the oldest living alumni are proudly hung from the rafters in Wickham Great Hall.

Marching orders

As part of rehearsal activities this morning, the soon-to-be graduates received instructions in graduation logistics as they begin to count down the hours to their big day on Sunday.

“For some, this day was never in doubt,” Dean of Student Affairs Chris Abrams told the class. Many others experienced trial and tribulation to get here. This is going to be an exciting time for you and your family, and for everybody else here. Come ready for the day.”

The students also heard from Ashley Helmstetter, executive director of Alumni Engagement and Major Gifts, who delivered advice and congratulations from the Alumni Council. For her own advice, she asked the future alumni to remember three things:

“Your ‘Sweet Alma Home’ is here for you forever,” she said, adding that the newest grads will be joining a network of nearly 15,000 people who have walked across the stage before them.

Ashley encouraged the students to stay connected to their alma mater by visiting and keeping in touch about life achievements, and also to give back and pay it forward, through annual giving or by sharing their Heidelberg journey with prospective students.

“Remember each person who helped you get to where you are today.”

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