After months of collecting graduation applications and organizing a deluge of diplomas, name tags and luncheon tickets, the staff at the CLSC Octagon are ready for Recognition Week.
The four days of festivities — starting with the Class of 2019 Baccalaureate at 10:45 a.m. Sunday in the Amphitheater, and concluding with Sarah Ruhl’s Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Author Presentation at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, August 8 in the Hall of Philosophy — commemorates the Class of 2019, a group of 78 individuals graduating from the CLSC.
The Class of 2019 Vigil Ceremony, which begins at 8:45 p.m. Sunday with the gathering of graduates on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall before the ceremony at 9 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy, and the Recognition Day Ceremony, which marks the official initiation of the Class of 2019 at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Philosophy, are two central events of a week requiring a careful attention to tradition. For the Vigil, a candle-lit night featuring graduates dressed in white, a designated committee assembled music and readings that emphasize the Class of 2019’s specific attributes. On Wednesday, the Alumni Parade and Richard Blanco’s 10:45 a.m. Recognition Day lecture bookends the Recognition Day Ceremony.
“I really love all the work that goes into maintaining these traditions that are quirky, charming and really a spectacle to behold,” said Stephine Hunt, manager of the CLSC Octagon. “Both ceremonies are absolutely beautiful.”
At 7 p.m. Monday, August 5 in the Athenaeum Hotel Parlor, Chautauquans will honor My Tran, winner of the second Chautauqua Janus Prize for their experimental short prose piece “Tree rings, like concentric ghosts.” Members of the Class of 2019 who are in attendance Monday evening will be asked to stand and be recognized.
“I think that having innovation and tradition side by side in this week is also really exciting,” said Atom Atkinson, director of literary arts. “That’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
In the flurry of coordination and last-minute fixes that precede the week, Hunt is excited to watch the nearly 150-year-old tradition unfold.
“It’s all just a lot of pieces that somehow fit together,” she said.