Allegheny College began the 2018-19 academic year with Welcome Weekend, which took place Saturday, Aug. 25, to Monday, Aug. 27. First-year students moved in Saturday and participated in orientation activities as they began to get used to and learned to find their way around Allegheny.
Ian Binnington, registrar, associate dean of academics and associate professor of history, discussed the ways the 2018-2019 Welcome Weekend differed from past move-in weekends.
“Instead of combining move-in and orientation as we have been doing, we separated them and invited new first-year and transfer students and their parents and families to one of five Summer Orientation sessions held in June, July, and August,” Binnington wrote in an email to The Campus. “With a few exceptions, all of the 500 new first-year and transfer students attended an orientation session. … We also hope that Summer Orientation made registration for first semester courses less confusing, as well as making move-in a smoother experience.”
The Summer Orientation Core Team is made up of staff from the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access & Social Justice Center, the Dean of Students Office, Office of Residence Life, the Learning Commons, College Relations, and the Department of Athletics and Recreation. Together staff from all of these offices helped to put together Summer Orientation 2018.
A major focus of Welcome Weekend is the annual Matriculation Ceremony, which officially welcomes the incoming class to campus. Allegheny Student Government President Camila Gomez, ’19, President James Mullen and Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Life April Thompson came together to join in welcoming the class of 2022.
Gomez began with words of encouragement, telling new students to “try something new, fall down, stand back up, challenge your beliefs and please go to class.”
Mullen described feeling a close, almost familial bond between himself and the Allegheny community.
“You’re not only joining the Allegheny family, but mine as well,” Mullen said. Mullen then encouraged students to meet different people for the first time as “that is the core of what college is all about.”
Thompson discussed what she felt was a hopeful air around the beginning of the semester and asked the incoming class to try new things and said “I’m very excited for all the work ahead of us.”
In addition to the Academic Convocation and Matriculation Ceremony, Welcome Weekend also included various religious gatherings in Ford Memorial Chapel along with assemblies, information sessions and a tour of Meadville. Many of these sessions involved faculty and staff volunteers, but there were also many student volunteers who moved in a few days early and took the time to help the first-year students adjust to campus.