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LMU Class Identity Shaped by Class Motto


MottoThis year’s freshman class at Loyola Marymount University is already breaking with tradition. For the past six years, each incoming class has been given a class motto selected by a committee in Student Affairs. This year the class of 2012 was asked to submit and vote on the motto for the class of 2013.

Last fall, an e-mail from the LMU Orientation Committee asked then freshmen to submit mottos for the class of 2013. The committee received more than 100 submissions and they asked freshmen to vote for their favorite of three mottos. The winning motto, submitted by Michelle Radovan, is a quote by George Bernard Shaw: “Life is not about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself.”

Each year, freshmen get T-shirts emblazoned with their class motto when they check in. The motto is also incorporated into a unique poster that freshmen get in the welcome bag in their dorm rooms. Christina Thelin, program coordinator for First Year Experience, explained that the motto gives students, “not only an LMU identity, but also a class identity.”

The class motto is a focus of First Year Academic Convocation, and the motto of the graduating class is a focus of commencement. “Mottos really bookend the students’ college experience,” Thelin said.

Approximately 1,350 students are enrolling as LMU freshman. They will have many chances to participate in campus traditions, including First Year Retreat, Hall Brawls and Madness at Midnight. A team of 12 students on F.R.E.S.H. Squad helps new students navigate through college life such as connecting with advisors and living in the residence halls. F.R.E.S.H. – Freshmen Reaching Excellence Through Student Help – Squad is made up of energetic students who act as peer mentors.

LMU’s Orientation Committee continually reflects on how they can better serve first-year students, including focusing on traditions. Thelin notes, “Traditions and mottos are important to establish a form of common identity among [all students.] Traditions  . . . bond individuals to the institution.”

Posted Aug. 31, 2009