First Collection

First Collection

First Collection is unlike any other tradition here at Swarthmore. It occurs during Orientation Week and it is an intregal part of Quaker heritage. All first-year students gather in the Scott Ampitheater to begin the event. It includes speeches by the president of the College, a member of the faculty, and a member of the senior class.

"First Collection made me realize that there is a great deal of prestige and privilege that goes along with being a Swarthmore student, because of its grand ambience," says Grant Johnson'14.

Sebastian Bravo '13
Sebastian Bravo '13
Quito, Ecuador
''First Collection is one of my favorite traditions because its the first time you really feel part of Swarthmore. It symbolizes the start of our journeys as Swatties. Also, I love that this journey ends during Last Collection (graduation) at the same place."

After the speeches, students participate in the candle-lighting and hand-shaking rituals. This event is a ceremonial act and the official beginning of the studens' time at Swarthmore.

"First Collection was a memorable experience. Once all the candles were lit, I felt truly connected with the rest of my graduation class. The scene was truly awe-inspiring," says Kyle Knapp '14, from Temecula, Calif.

"It is by  far one of my favorite traditions," says Ashley Banks '13, from Alpharetta, Ga. " I found the speeches particularly moving, and seeing the entire amphitheater lit by candles was a breathtaking experience. It really made me feel like I was actually now a part of the Swarthmore community."