Matriculation, the symbolic act of enrolling at the College, is the oldest continuously observed tradition at Trinity.
The ceremony has multiple elements:
The matriculation ceremony focuses on two books. The first book is a leather-bound volume written by Bishop Brownell, Trinity’s first president. The president presents The Book to the secretary of the faculty, thereby entrusting the faculty with the care of the undergraduates for the academic year. The Book has been touched, since the first Commencement in 1827, by every person who has been graduated from Trinity College. The Book will be returned to the president at Commencement time so that he may place it in the hands of each graduating student. The second book is the Matriculation Register. A long series of volumes are preserved in the College’s archives since the founding of our College. All new students who are admitted as degree candidates are required to subscribe to the oath below by signing their names in this book.
Student Integrity Contract
The integrity contract, which was written by and is administered by students, is introduced during the matriculation ceremony. The integrity contract is a promise that students make to one another to assume responsibility for upholding the standards of academic integrity and social conduct articulated in the contract. By signing this document, each matriculated student commits to act with honor and integrity at Trinity College.
Oath of Matriculation
At the culmination of the matriculation ceremony, the dean of the faculty introduces the undergraduates as candidates in arts and science worthy of admission to all of the rights and privileges of Trinity College. The president in turn presents the candidates to the secretary of the faculty, who administers the matriculation oath, in accordance with the student integrity contract. New students are requested to stand when they take the Oath of Matriculation, which reads as follows:
“I promise to observe the statutes of Trinity College, to obey all its rules and regulations, and to discharge faithfully all scholastic duties required of me. I further promise to maintain and defend all of the rights, privileges, and immunities of the College, according to my station and degree in the same.”