University of Findlay Student Shares Tradition With Alumnus Father
When freshman Olivia Fenbert arrived on campus for move-in day, everything was new – the dorm, the dining hall food, and the tradition of walking through the Griffith Memorial Arch. However, her father Doug felt right at home, as he graduated from University of Findlay.
Fenbert’s two older daughters attend different universities. However, Olivia was excited to follow in her father’s footsteps. “My siblings went to Bowling Green State University and University of Toledo, so they didn’t get to share a tradition with my dad. It’s really special that my dad and I get to share this tradition and experience,” Fenbert said.
During her time at Ottawa-Glandorf high school, Olivia knew University of Findlay was the school for her. She started classes on August 14, 2023 as a nursing student, eager to use the anatomy and chemistry labs, and happy to take the same journey as her dad. “I’ve always thought of UF since my freshman year of high school, and to be able to be here now has me really excited to get started,” she said.
Fenbert and her classmates who walked through the arch on August 10, 2023 have something extra special about which to be proud, as the University of Findlay is celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Griffith Memorial Arch. Built in 1923, the incoming class joined thousands of alumni, including Olivia’s father Doug Fenbert, who also took part in the long-standing tradition while attending UF.
“The beauty of the tradition is that it adds to the joy when we welcome students to campus through the arch, and then watch those same students walk back through the arch as graduates,” said Katherine Fell, Ph.D. University of Findlay president. “It’s meaningful to faculty and staff, it’s meaningful to parents, and it means a lot to our students.”
“It’s a really neat tradition that not a lot of colleges have,” said Olivia. “It brings Findlay together and helps create a tight-knit community as everyone shares a piece of the same story [the arch].”
After celebrating their arrival and the start of their journey at UF, students will not walk through the arch again until graduation. The long-standing tradition and superstition of casually walking through the arch came to a head in 1990 when sidewalks had to be installed as students were creating dirt paths around the arch to avoid walking through the arch. The next students to walk through the arch will be the graduating class of 2024 following commencement on May 4, 2024.
To learn more about the University of Findlay and its long-standing traditions, visit the campus traditions and history page. To start your own journey at University of Findlay, and to take part in your own arch ceremony, visit the office of admissions where you can apply today.