The Ivy Ceremony has, for many years, been a part of Eureka College Commencement Exercises. The tradition is traced back to 1925 and holds very special meaning to thousands of graduates who have matriculated from Eureka's hallowed halls. Ivy is representative of the characteristics that represent the character of Eureka's Community: strength, flexibility, and tenacity. Faculty and staff endeavor to instill these qualities in our students.
Each year, at Opening Convocation, new students are given a sprig of ivy. Each student then places the ivy sprig into a collective basket symbolizing formal membership in the Eureka College community and a joining together to form this community. The ivy then symbolically grows together to form a single continuous vine as one becomes a full member of the EC family. This common bond is represented at Commencement in the form of an ivy chain.
The circle of ivy represents the strong bond that binds our graduates and our community together. Although the cutting of the ivy results in separation, it also reminds us of ivy's ability to take root elsewhere. It is our hope that our graduates will take with them these ivy springs and all they symbolize and spread the knowledge thy have learned and the relationships and love they have experienced "neath the elms.
THE LAST RESIDENCE HALL CONSTRUCTION - LANGSTON HALL - 1999
...at Eureka College, ivy stands for more than the longstanding collegiate image of ivy covered brick buildings which brings to mind centuries of collected knowledge being passed on to minds of a new generation. At Eureka, ivy is a tangible symbol of our connectedness to one another and the need for us to take responsible action and make the world better in all we do. Our relationships, like ivy, grow stronger over time, because our lives become intertwined.
Preserving and Protecting
As ivy was planted on historic brick buildings to protect them from moisture, Eureka College seeks to preserve and protect our progressive foundations and heritage so that it may be passed on for generations. We do this by staying authentic and true to the vision of our founders who believed that being personal and caring is not an option but a responsibility. We do this historic work on a historic campus, recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior as The Eureka College National Historic District. This honor comes from our consistent record of nurturing servant leaders and our historic architecture. What we do is historic in scope in terms of our everyday calling as educators while being surrounded and immersed in a tangible history with real consequences. Our campus is historic and our work is being done at an historic place. Preserving our history and our heritage takes investment which ensures our work has purpose and meaning while we move forward. The ivy grounds us to our timeless beliefs and protects our core values.