Sights and Sounds: Class of 2027’s March Through the Arches

Students celebrate as they walk through the arches at the annual March Through the Arches ceremony on Sept. 5. (Brandon Woller/University of St. Thomas)

There were plenty of high-fives, smiles and piggyback rides as the Class of 2027 marched side by side onto the University of St. Thomas campus Sept. 5.

March Through the Arches is an annual rite of passage, and this year’s class embraced the fall tradition on a particularly warm September morning. As the first-year students walked through the stone archways on the St. Paul campus, hundreds of parents, staff and faculty lined the sidewalks of the lower quad, cheering and applauding.

“Walking through these Arches is the first step in discerning your vocation in life – that is how your gifts, your life experiences, your values, your beliefs can help meet the needs of the world around you,” recently inaugurated President Rob Vischer told students. “My prayer for you is that from now till then, your time here at St. Thomas will help you become your best self – that you’ll find lifelong friends and that you’ll experience the beauty of being seen for the amazing person you already are.”

I’m getting to carry my country’s flag today and represent Vietnam. I feel proud. I feel nervous, because I’m thinking about how do I best represent my country. It’s an honor.

Katie Ngo, Transfer Student from Vietnam

This year St. Thomas is welcoming more than 1,900 new students to campus. That number includes first-year, transfer and international students, as well as two-year students at Dougherty Family College.

The Class of 2027 takes a selfie with Undergraduate Student Government President Kate Kapsner during the March Through the Arches ceremony in St. Paul. (Brandon Woller/University of St. Thomas)

We were St. Thomas wannabes. So he’s living our dream. We keep telling him that we didn’t get this ride, so have fun and enjoy this amazing experience.

Patty O'Connor, Parent of First-Year Student

Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management Omar Correa celebrated the new faces joining the Tommie community.

“As you think about this journey … this is not only about the people who you’re going to be meeting, but it’s about the collection of experiences,” Correa said. “A lot of those experiences will happen inside of the classroom with great faculty … A lot of those experiences will happen outside of the classroom and that will happen with many of the individuals who are next to you right now.”

When we did the tour of the college and they talked about March Through the Arches, we looked at each other and we were like that just sounds awesome! And to think that they walk through here again when they graduate – it’s just a nice tradition.

Gloria Putnam, Parent of First-Year Student

March Through the Arches is a Tommie tradition that began in 2000. The event serves as a meaningful way to gather incoming students and celebrate with their friends and family.