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
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."