Early in the fall semester, 10 Oberlin students from Chicago met in Tappan Square for the ceremonial start of their college journey.
The visualization ceremony, a tradition that takes place near the Memorial Arch, is given to students in Oberlin’s Posse program. These individuals are identified by the Posse Foundation as having extraordinary leadership potential.
According to the Posse Foundation’s mission statement, “The Posse model works for both students and college campuses and is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students—a posse—carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for individual and community development.” Students participating in the program begin in their junior year of high school when they are nominated by their administrators or teachers. Prior to arriving at their chosen college, the 10 members in each posse participate in activities that allow them a chance to become familiar with each other. This relationship and support continues once in college.
The students who participated in the visualization ceremony in October make up Oberlin's 15th Posse class.
The ceremony began with Posse mentor Anna Brandt leading the group through a visualization exercise that included reflecting on being selected as Posse scholars, their participation in activities before arriving on campus, and envisioning their journey at Oberlin over the next four years.
President Carmen Twillie Ambar shared words of encouragement and gave each scholar their graduation caps and a scroll that stated in part: “We have no doubt that should you maintain focus and have the courage to follow your dreams, you will graduate in Tappan Square in the spring of 2025 with your entire posse at your side.”
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