Douglass Celebrates 100th Annual Sacred Path Ceremony
More than 400 Douglass women, alumnae, friends, and family gathered at the Voorhees Chapel to celebrate The Sacred Path Ceremony on Sunday, April 7—a tradition 100 years in the making.
The event featured an award ceremony, symbolic charms for each class of students, and a special focus on the ceremony’s rich history.
Established in 1919, Sacred Path is one of the oldest traditions at Douglass. This year’s theme, “Following the Path Strengthens Our Roots,” recognized that.
When it first began, the ceremony marked the first time first-year students were allowed to walk the path between College Hall and George Street—The Sacred Path—as they transitioned into their sophomore year.
100 years later, Douglass traditions have continued. At today’s ceremony, Douglass women wear colors corresponding to their class and receive symbolic charms as they look back on the accomplishments of the academic year, and look forward to more to come.
First-year students received a lantern to symbolize the knowledge in the world around them; sophomores received a clock to represent their time at Douglass; juniors were given a key to show passion, energy, and leadership; seniors were given a mortarboard to commemorate their time at Douglass and symbolize their passage through the program; and alumnae were given an ivy charm to show their continued growth with Douglass.
Many Douglass students are also recognized for their leadership and accomplishments in fields ranging from STEM to the arts.
While the celebration has grown and changed since its early years, Douglass women are still inspired to look back and to remember their connection to each other and the large network of alumnae around them.
With its focus on the history of Douglass, discussions throughout this year’s ceremony surrounded the never-ending connection Douglass women have to the community, the college, and each other. Dean Jacquelyn Litt, Dean of Douglass Residential College and the Douglass Campus, feels that the ceremony is a representation of Douglass’ core values that unite those involved with the institution.
“We believe in the power of women focused education—creating spaces for our voices to be heard, creating innovative programs that offer students opportunities for experiential learning. And we still believe in the power of women working and living together in a community, creating an environment at Douglass where our diverse student body works together. Our Sacred Path ceremony is emblematic of the journey the college has taken,” said Dean Litt.
The ceremony also aimed to motivate the Douglass women in attendance to continue to find inspiration and follow their own paths, while remembering that the Sacred Path at Douglass will always lead them back to a place they can call home.