Photo of new students participating in March through the ArchThe Arch of Knowledge

Research has conclusively indicated a strong connection between student retention – and thus, student success – and the number and quality of symbolic and traditional activities in which they participate while in college.

During the design phase for Georgia Gwinnett College’s Library and Learning Center, the leadership of the College’s Facilities and Academic and Student Affairs divisions worked together to incorporate a distinctive architectural feature that would support retention and student success. This feature was to be a meaningful and permanent campus symbol and provide a structure through which students could ceremoniously enter and leave the college community. The result is the building’s unique “Arch of Knowledge.” The library was completed and opened in time for the 2010 fall semester.

The first year the College used the arch for ceremonial purposes was the academic year 2010-2011. Students new to the College for the 2010 fall semester entered GGC’s main lawn through the arch for an academic convocation and welcome, passing between two lines of applauding faculty members. In August of 2011, the name, “March Through the Arch,” was assigned to the welcome event for new students, and more formal convocation activities were scheduled later in the semester.

Beginning with the 2011 spring commencement, the ceremony has ended with new graduates recessing through the arch – between two lines of applauding faculty members – just as the students had been originally welcomed to the College.

These traditions have become a permanent part of the GGC student experience.

Marching through the Arch

The March through the Arch is the official welcoming of new students into the GGC community of learners. The College president, the senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs/provost, the president of the Student Government Association and all of the College’s faculty members greet GGC’s newest students.

Students learn about the GGC Covenant, a document which was collaboratively written by GGC students and faculty in 2008, and which embodies the ideals, aspirations and code of conduct of the GGC community. The college president and SGA president join together in leading new students in reciting the Covenant.

This celebration officially marks the entrance of our new students into the Georgia Gwinnett College community of learners, and are meaningful parts of your College experience.

Students participating in this event are taking part in a special GGC tradition. The March through the Arch of Knowledge is one of two “bookend” experiences for GGC students. The March through the Arch of Knowledge marks the students’ entrance into our learning community. When students graduate, they exit through the Arch as part of their commencement ceremony, marking the completion of their degrees and programs.

The GGC Covenant

As members of Georgia Gwinnett College, we declare our commitment to these principles and values:

  • We will build a community where each member recognizes the dignity and essential worth of all people.
  • We will prepare our students for a lifetime of learning and civic engagement.
  • We will ensure the honesty and integrity of our academic endeavors, hold ourselves accountable, and expect others to do the same.
  • We will promote and cultivate critical thought and an open, scholarly exchange of ideas.
  • We will dedicate ourselves to the highest academic standards.
  • We will lead with our hearts and our minds and be driving forces for change in the global community.