The night before classes start, the campus community gathers in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts to mark the beginning of the academic year. The evening provides a context for the intellectual challenges that students will face over the course of the year. Following convocation, first-year students and faculty parade to the Malesardi Quad where the students stand side-by-side along the quad's outer edges. The president lights a candle - representing the "Light of Knowledge" - and spreads that light to all the students, forming a circle of light. The candle-lighting ceremony comes to a close with faculty, staff, and students joining together to sing the alma mater, Dear Bucknell. The ceremony is repeated the night before commencement.