Every year, each house holds an inductions ceremony for new students. The inductions ceremony serves as an official welcome to new students a few weeks after school starts, once the freshmen and transfer students have fallen in to a routine. Each house has different traditions, but a theme of bonding and welcoming prevails throughout each ceremony.
Aponivi held a ceremony in Heritage Chapel in the Admissions building. The week leading up to inductions, new students woke up each morning to find a small gift, letter, or snack outside their door labeled, “from your secret sister.” On induction night, the house members dressed up, and the new students entered the chapel one by one, where they were greeted by their “secret sister.” Mikayla Austin, Aponivi freshman, was surprised to find out not only who her secret sister was, but that she had two of them. Austin says, “I felt so grateful to have two secret sisters. I was so surprised. They got me the cutest gifts.” Bailey Johannes, another freshman on Aponivi, says, “I loved having a secret sister. I was so anxious to find out who it was… I am so happy to be a part of this hall.” Lareece Chambers, Aponivi freshman, says, “Inductions was a special event to me, as I felt as important as every other sister in the Aponivi house!” After revealing the secret sisters’ identities, Aponivi members made ice cream sundaes and took group pictures.
Solah’s ceremonies were similar. Everyone got dressed up and watched a slideshow of all the new students. Solah’s ceremonies also involved “secret sisters” who left gifts and letters of encouragement for a certain new student throughout the first weeks of school. At the ceremony, all of the freshmen closed their eyes and then opened them to see their secret sister standing in front of them. Alyssa Dockins, Solah freshman, says, “Our secret sisters gave us red roses because that is the color of our hall… It was super sweet and cute! We all had a lot of fun.” Then, older students taught the new members the Solah house song.
Khiyah had a more unique induction ceremony according to Khiyah House President and senior, Lynley Closson. Closson says, “For Khiyah house inductions, our house council really wanted to touch on old traditions but also put our own spin on things.” Upperclassmen set up stations around campus and each member recieved “tokens” for coming to the station. After gaining their tokens, all Khiyah members sang to their “Khiyah King,” an honor bestowed each week upon a member of the mens’ houses who has displayed good character. Closson says, “We ended in the Helene lobby with snacks, sisterhood quotes, and a symbolic candle lighting ceremony.”
Although induction ceremonies are mostly held by the female houses, Cheville house had inductions as well. Daniel Goodin, Cheville junior, enjoyed making the new students feel like a part of the house. Goodin says inductions are “a good way to let the freshmen know who we are (as a hall).” The house’s induction meetings were more relaxed than the female houses’ ceremonies. Cheville members got together as a hall to look at house apparel ideas, and told the freshmen old stories and traditions held by the Cheville house. Goodin described the inductions as “a good way to bond with other Chevillians.”
Inductions is a great bonding experience for every house member, whether they are experiencing the ceremony for the first time or organizing a memorable experience to welcome new students. The ceremonies unite the house and give new students a place to belong. Inductions ceremonies are one Graceland tradition that will surely stick around for a long time.