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Matriculation: what you need to know

Matriculation: what you need to know

On Tuesday September 11 2018, King’s students are invited to join the University of King’s College by signing the University Matricula.

The ceremony, in the King’s College Library, will be conducted by Dr Peter O’Brien, the University Vice-President, and the Public Orator at Convocation.

Foundation Year Program students will matriculate with their tutorial. The schedule for the matriculation ceremony can be found here. Please mark your new academic life by participating in this ceremony.


In preparation for this important occasion, we reproduce below the introductory remarks that Dr Peter O’Brien has made at previous Matriculation ceremonies. This will be a very special event; please come!

Matriculation Introduction

Welcome to the ancient and solemn ceremony of matriculation, which marks your formal entry into the College as student members. This ceremony, a form of which has been celebrated for more than two-and-a-quarter centuries at King’s and for many centuries longer at the great universities of England and Scotland, is named for the matricula, the large register to my side in the King’s Library that will record your names. And here also is the original Matricula of 1803.

In a few moments you will be asked to recite an oath, in Latin, to express your desire to enter the College and your willingness to observe its traditions. We use Latin, the universal language of learning in the West since Antiquity, to remind ourselves that the community of scholarship we enter is larger than our own circle of friends, our College and our nation — as well as older, connecting us to the minds and spirits of generations past. Those minds and spirits are represented materially in the books this King’s Library houses, making it a particularly appropriate venue for our ceremony today. Our connection to the eloquence of the past is also marked by the two busts on either side of the matricula. One is Cicero, the other Demosthenes, master communicators in ancient Latin and Greek respectively. When they were originally placed on either side of the platform on which King’s students received their degrees in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in the 1860s, these two men seemed sufficiently representative of the ideal voice students then toiled in their studies to imitate. King’s mission and King’s curriculum has broadened since those days, and so I point out another piece of classical statuary — here — and invoke her tutelage on the proceedings as well. High above this Library room is the winged Victory of Samothrace. A female figure without a head, she serves as an apt reminder of the nameless voices and forgotten voices that fill our tradition, waiting to be rediscovered. She also represents voices yet unknown, trained in our tradition of collegial learning, and waiting to be heard in the future.

I would ask you to repeat together each line of Latin after I read it for you. After you have spoken the oath, you will process individually toward the Matricula, passing your name card to me so that I can announce your name, as you sign the register.

Then the Public Orator; After Signing the Matricula:

Scito vos in Matriculam Collegii hodie relatos esse, et ad

observandum omnia Statuta hoc libro comprehensa, quantum ad vos spectent, teneri.

Know that you have been today entered in the Register of the College, and are bound to observe all the Statues contained in this book, as far as they concern you.

Congratulations! Now I ask President Lahey to confirm your entry into the College.


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