The University of Saint Mary officially welcomed one of its largest classes of freshmen and transfer students to the university community at a matriculation ceremony Tuesday in Annunciation Chapel. 

Matriculation precedes the official start of fall classes Wednesday.

USM’s incoming freshman class and transfer students filled the chapel for the ceremony. Following a greeting from USM President Sister Diane Steele, students lit candles at the chapel altar, and then formed a “circle of light” around the inside of the church. 

Administration, faculty and upperclassmen in attendance offered a blessing to the new students. 

The light of their candles symbolized their potential and the university’s mission being carried out into the world.

“You have entered your name in the roll,” Steele said. “You join a family that is celebrating over 90 years of educating students and stretches across the globe.”