Initiation Ceremony

CrestIn 1931-32, the Household Science Students’ Association designed a crest for the undergraduate program – a spectrum – the colours which appear when white light is broken into its component parts by passing through a prism. The colours of the rainbow were selected to symbolize Home Economics.

The Initiation Ceremony, with the lighting of the candles, was adopted to welcome new students to the program. The ceremony was held in the fall and all students, faculty and staff were invited. The program included the entrance of eight student leaders, each holding a lighted candle as indicated below, who made their way to the stage at the front of the room. They would recite the significance of their candle colour. The Year 1 students, who had received unlit white candles, would come forward and light their candles from the White Light candle. In doing so they would accept the colours, which are really the values, principles, standards and ideals that Home Economics students and graduates share and use to guide them in their careers and their lives.

The Candle Colours:

Red – the light of health. It is the red blood that flashes through our veins, that banishes sickness and gives use the energy to perform our daily tasks.

Orange – the symbol of fire. Surely of all symbols that of the hearth fire is most sacred. We must do our part to keep it replenished with kindness, patience and love.

Yellow – the color of wisdom, and in the adoption of this color we work to raise the standards of our scholarship and to be of an open and unprejudiced mind.

Green – the light of service. Green is Nature’s symbol of productivity, and in adopting it we hope to make a contribution to the great work to be done in the world.

Blue – means truth, purity and constancy. To these three we devote ourselves.

Indigo – the symbol of courage and perseverance needed to meet the challenges of life.

Violet – the light of beauty. Surely no nobler purpose can be pursued than to seek beauty in character, in appearance, in nature, in home and in the growth of the soul.

All these colours when combined form White Light, which is the true light of our highest aims.

The Initiation program included a Welcome from the Dean, the H.E.S.S. President and Senior Stick and was followed by a reception. The significance of the candles was reiterated at the Ring Ceremony, which took place at the time of graduation.

The Ring Ceremony

picThe Ring Ceremony was initiated by the College of Home Economics in 1967 and was held in conjunction with Graduation celebrations. At the ceremony, graduates are presented with a ring with etched facets to represent the many areas of Home Economics, and a “Professional Charge” is delivered to the new professionals. A special Ring Ceremony was held in May 1978, during the College’s Golden Jubilee (1928-1978) celebrations and in 2000 at the All-Years Reunion. The last Ring Ceremony held in Saskatchewan took place in 2003 at the final conference of the Canadian Home Economics Association before its dissolution.

During the 1978 ceremony, Dean Emeritus Hope Hunt presented the Professional Charge to all of the present graduates who pre-dated the Home Economics rings. Her words are recounted below and remind graduates from all years of the solemnity of the Ring Ceremony.

“There is a story that the Princes of Sendip – an early name for Ceylon, now Sri Lanka – were very lucky in all they did because they were well trained. On that basis Horace Walpole coined the word ‘Serendipity’ to indicate preparation for favorable opportunity. We might speak of the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

At this time, in terms of Serendipity, you have the prepared mind, with a special body of knowledge to be applied to the affairs of others. As the future unfolds for each of you, the way you use that knowledge will be influenced by your particular area of Home Economics expertise. Apply it for the benefit of the community in which you live.

In addition to the special knowledge which you possess, true professional life involves a social consciousness and a sense of dedication to your public and your profession. We hope that you will help the profession develop to meet changing needs as society changes. Neither your outlook nor your profession should remain static. Rather we hope that you not only build on your present learning, but also build toward other learning. Then you as a professional person and the profession as a whole may be ready to meet future challenges.

Your time is your own. Twenty-four hours a day will be all you ever have.

Take time to read, it is the fountain of wisdom.
Take time to think, it is the source of power.
Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness.
Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul.
Take time to give, it is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to work, it is the price of success.

Thus on this occasion when you accept the rink, symbolic of membership in the professional community of Canadian Home Economist, I charge you to be a true professional in every sense of the term, whatever your area of special interest may be.

Best wishes for each one of you for the future in your personal and professional life.”

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