Title: Matriculation

Informant info:

Jack Auteri is from Doylestown, Pennsylvania and is in the class of 2019 at Dartmouth College. He is planning on being a Government major. He was interviewed on 11/5/16 in Hanover, NH.

General Information:

  • Customary: Ceremony, Ritual, Tradition
  • English
  • U.S.

Social / Cultural Context:

Jack experienced the matriculation ceremony in the Fall of 2015 when he was a freshman at Dartmouth. It is one of his most memorable moments at Dartmouth thus far so he was happy to share his experience with us.


“I remember my matriculation very clearly and it is one of my best memories from last year. I started getting really excited when my whole floor came together outside of Russell Sage. The guys were in jackets and ties and the girls were wearing nice dresses, so it felt like a pretty big deal. We walked together to the Parkhurst building, where President Hanlon’s office is. We sat outside under a tent waiting for our turn to go in and shake Hanlon’s hand. When we were up, I remember walking up the stairs to his office dripping in sweat. It was hot out that day and I am known to start sweating when I’m nervous. We went into his office and he spoke to us for ten minutes about what it means to be part of the bigger Dartmouth community. I then shook his hand, went back outside, and got to meet some alumni that graduated in 1969, which is 50 years before we are supposed to graduate. It was one of the most memorable moments for me so far.

Informant’s comments:

“I think this ceremony is a strong tradition that this school has, and it is a great way to initiate the freshmen into the Dartmouth community. I hope that the ritual of shaking President Hanlon’s hand stays strong in the future because it is an experience that all freshmen should experience in their first term at Dartmouth.

Collector’s comments:

I did not remember the details of my matriculation ceremony as clearly as Jack, but I agree that it is a tradition that should remain strong at Dartmouth. I remember shaking his hand and feeling very welcomed by the entire Dartmouth community. It truly is a great initiation ceremony and a great example of Customary Folklore.

Collector’s name: Will Randell

Tags/Keywords: Customary Lore, President Hanlon, Matriculation, Ceremony, Ritual, Tradition


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