Every year, as thousands of new students descend on the Nevada campus, the world catches a glimpse of what the future will be.
At the New Student Ceremony held Friday, nearly 1,000 students from the class of 2015 filled the seats of Lawlor Events Center. The students, many of whom had just spent their first night on the University campus, buzzed with anticipation.
Keynote Speaker and Geography Professor Scott Mensing encouraged students to think of the things they currently love in their lives.
"[That love] is the attitude I want you to bring to your University education," Mensing said. "Look for those things that really interest you and follow them.
"When you find that thing, you'll find that the work just isn't as hard anymore. You'll never reach the downhill until you learn to love the uphill. Then it's downhill all the way."
President Marc Johnson reminded students that the energy they put into their education will only come back to benefit them.
"Education is a tremendous investment," Johnson said. "The more you give of yourself for yourself, the more you'll gain out of your investment in education."
The ceremony marks a pivotal step in a student's life; as such, the event is filled with fanfare, from cheerleaders and mascots to singers and bagpipes. Perhaps the most memorable event of the ceremony occurred when students lit candles during the singing of the alma mater.
Once the candles were lit and the song ended, the lights were turned off. The crowd responded with a collective gasp.
What remained were 1,000 candles lighting the room and casting an orange glow across the faces of the next generation of Nevada higher education.
Even after the candles were blown out, one couldn't shake the impression that the light those students held shines on.