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New Beginnings

Pre-Orientation Move-In

Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

The Dickinson community welcomes the class of 2018 to campus and beyond 

by Lauren Davidson

After months of anticipation, getting to know the community through social media and summer send-offs, and interacting with faculty members through advising and course selection, the class of 2018 has arrived on campus. Well, some of them.

The start of the semester looks a bit different this year, with 200 new students registered for Pre-Orientation Adventure programs (Pre-O), bringing them to Carlisle a few days early. They moved into their residence halls under a brilliant blue sky with the help of an energetic cadre of upper-level students and staff members. (See photos from today on Facebook.)

On the road again

After saying farewell to their families, the Pre-O participants met up with their adventure groups, and some of them got right back on the road. Some departed for bouldering, hiking and whitewater rafting in West Virginia. Some will experience the highlights of the Cumberland Valley region, including Diakon Wilderness, Michaux State Forest, Hershey Park, Roundtop Mountain Resort and popular area eateries. Still others are staying on campus to dig into diversity, theatre, media and entrepreneurship opportunities.

“The Pre-Orientation program is a really helpful tool in acclimating students,” says Becky Hammell, associate vice president for student leadership & campus engagement. “They meet other students with similar interests and then engage in an activity around that shared interest. It bonds them to not only other first-year students but also the upper-level students leading the programs and the faculty and staff members who are involved. It also give them a sense of our shared values. We want students to live healthy lifestyles, so we have the outdoor options. We want students to be engaged in community service and leadership, so there are programs for that. We want them to think about campus media and participate in the arts, so there are opportunities there as well.”

The gang’s all here

The Pre-O participants will be joined by the remaining members of the class of 2018 on Wednesday, and Orientation will officially kick off with a welcome from President Nancy Roseman and Vice President for Student Life Joyce Bylander. The rest of the week is a mix of academic, informational and social events:

  • First-Year Interest Group (FIG) meetings and barbecue
  • Meetings with academic advisors, deans and first-year mentors
  • Class with their First-Year Seminar 
  • Showings of the common film, Happy
  • A service experience in the Carlisle community
  • Shuttles to nearby shopping centers
  • Relaxation options, study time and social events

A community tradition

Orientation concludes on Sunday, Aug. 31, when all 621 members of the class of 2018 gather for Convocation. Open to the entire community, this poignant tradition exemplifies new beginnings, as each new Dickinsonian walks up the stone steps of Old West to sign in to the college. In four years, they will complete the tradition by walking down the steps to receive their diplomas.

Follow along

Keep up with all of the action on social media as the class of 2018 moves in (twice) and gets to know the Dickinson community throughout Pre-O and Orientation. Posts will be tagged with #dson2018 and compiled in Storify.

Learn more

Published August 24, 2014