The candlelight ceremony is a tradition for all undergraduate students at Alvernia. For the first ceremony, on the eve before Fall classes begin, the campus community gathers on the quad and welcomes the new incoming class. This ceremony features the First Year Class Pledge and candle lighting. The ceremony includes the singing of our Alma Mater and a special blessing over the incoming class.
St. Francis Day of Service
Saint Francis Day of Service is a university-wide celebration occurring the Saturday in October that falls closest to the Feast of Saint Francis. The Feast commemorates and celebrates the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. Service to others is central to our Franciscan mission and reflects the elemental values of humility and simplicity.
Every year, students, faculty, staff, and alumni gather to serve in honor of Saint Francis. The Holleran Center for Community & Global Engagement organizes this day of service in accordance with Saint Francis’s mission of serving the underserved.
In the past, our Reading Campus has served with organizations that address food insecurity by harvesting local produce that is donated and locally distributed. To end the day, french fries are cut and cooked from the just-picked potatoes for volunteers to enjoy as we end the day in meaningful reflection. Our Philadelphia and Schuylkill Campuses also engage in days of service that address root issues in the community. No matter where students serve, the day is a favorite amongst students because it is a great way to make friends or strengthen bonds while having a positive impact in our local communities.
As an event leading up to graduation and signifying the institution's founding in 1958, students are encouraged to invite a special faculty or staff member that has made an impact on their time at Alvernia. At the event, they are given the chance to spend some quality time together to relive some memories and allow for some thanks and goodbyes.