St Mark’s was delighted to formally welcome this year’s new members into our College community at our Admission Ceremony, held on Thursday 20 February 2020. Over 200 students, family and friends filled the Grenfell Price Dining Hall to witness each new student sign the College Roll.
The Head of College, Professor Don Markwell, led the proceedings, with an Acknowledgement of Country followed by a motivating address on the value and purpose of a College education. Reflecting on the vision of the College’s founders, Professor Markwell observed:
“This College was founded 95 years ago, largely by people who had had the benefit of experience in the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge in Britain. They wanted students here in Adelaide to have the same benefits they had had of integrating learning and living together in a college. They saw a college as a residential academic community, in which it is possible to bring together a variety of elements alongside what each student gained within the wider university – college elements such as academic support, broader intellectual stimulus, activities such as sport, music, drama, and more, community service, opportunities for spiritual reflection in this Anglican Christian foundation, and social activities.
“This, they rightly recognised, would enrich the all-round education and personal growth of university students in a community where every student could have a sense of belonging and was supported and challenged to be their best, in which leadership and teamwork skills could be further developed, and in which friendships flourish. That was the goal of our founders in 1925, and that remains our goal today.”
Professor Markwell discussed the significance of signing the College Roll. Signing the College Roll is a time-honoured College tradition. In signing the Roll, each new student officially becomes a member of St Mark’s College, and a member of a special community to which they will belong for the rest of their lives. It also indicates a commitment by each and every member of our community to live and conduct themselves in accordance with the College’s values. The Roll reads as follows:
“Upon my enrolment as a member of St Mark’s College, I agree to be bound by, and obey honourably, the by-laws, values and guidelines as set out in the College Handbook, and do all in my power to promote the honour of the College.”
In making this commitment, Professor Markwell asked each student to reflect on the College’s values and what it means to live as an adult in a values-based community.
“This is a values-based community in which every member must accept responsibility for living by and helping to uphold our values… Our values include a commitment to integrity and a commitment to service. At the heart of our values also is a commitment to respect and dignity for all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other attribute. We are committed to upholding a culture of respect, of genuine inclusion, and of safety.”
Professor Markwell reflected on the generosity and commitment of earlier generations to building the College that stands today. He called on all students to recognise the debt of gratitude we have to Old Collegians and other friends of the College who have made the opportunities we enjoy today possible. More immediately, he also encouraged students to appreciate and acknowledge the love and support of their parents and family members who had supported them in reaching this point in their education journey.
You can read the full text of Professor Markwell’s address here.
2020 College Club President Mr Nicholas Marzohl also welcomed the new students into the St Mark’s community and reflected on his experiences at College. He emphasised the value of the friendships he has made and the importance of embracing the opportunities that College provides to try new activities, learn leadership skills and expand your horizons.
The Director of Learning, Dr Rachel Buxton, then introduced the new student cohort to the Head of College, inviting each student to shake hands with him before the Dean, Professor Peter Tregear, invited them to sign the College Roll.
The ceremony concluded with Professor Markwell wishing the new students the warmest of welcomes and the best of luck for the year to come. The Admission Ceremony was followed by a BBQ for family and friends on the College tennis courts and Grenfell Price Dining Hall veranda.