LSMSA hosts annual matriculation ceremony to welcome new students


The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) held its annual Matriculation Ceremony on Friday, August 31, 2018, in Northwestern State University’s A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. The ceremony welcomed 173 new students to the school, a group which consisted of six seniors, 54 juniors, and 113 sophomores from around the state.

LSMSA’s Executive Director Steve Horton introduced the students to the school and applauded their efforts and hard-work before coming to the institution.

“Over the past year, 360 students entered the application process. 260 had the ability to complete it, and you 173 demonstrated that you have the ability to succeed at LSMSA,” said Horton. “Ninety-seven percent came to LSMSA with a grade point average between 3.5 and 4.0. Your composite ACT is 25. You come from 43 of Louisiana’s parishes.”

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Student Government Organization (SGO) Vice President Daniel Metzger (’18) of St. Tammany Parish. SGO President, William Heitman (’19) of East Baton Rouge Parish, gave a speech about the importance of the school’s Student Pledge. Senior Class President Myles Fabre (’19), also of East Baton Rouge Parish, delivered the closing remarks.

Many students expressed excitement, as well as general nervousness about entering the institution, but their overall feelings toward the school were overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s daunting, but it’s an experience I am looking forward to,” said entering senior Justus Mitchell. “I know it will benefit me in the long run and improve my quality of life.”

“I’m excited to be here,” said entering sophomore Sneha Anthony. “I worked really hard to be here, and I expect to grow a lot as a person.”

Anthony’s parents expressed the same feelings as her. “We’re anxious, but we’re proud of her ambition and love seeing that she wants to fly,” said Anthony’s father.

“I like that the program fosters an environment where students can find themselves and easily transition later to college,” expressed Anthony’s mother. “It’s a great place to grow and explore.”

The Matriculation Ceremony is done in part to congratulate the students on their academic accomplishments, as well as solidify their placement at the school. Many of the speeches at the ceremony stressed the importance of students applying themselves during their time at LSMSA, while also enjoying their time at the school. Many of the speakers addressed how excited they were to welcome the new group.

Dr. Kyle Stephens, a scholar and instructor of history, delivered the keynote address.

“We, your faculty, your staff, and your outstanding administrators are so glad you’re here,” said Stephens. “[To the parents], you honor us with your trust, and we are humbled by the awesome and joyful task of educating your children, both within and outside of the classroom. Please know that we know that this is the most important thing we will ever do, and what a blessing that is.”

In his final remark to the audience, Stephens simply had this to say: “In the words of President Kennedy: ‘Let us begin.’”