Over several busy days of activities, laughter and reflection, Elmhurst College welcomed the Class of 2022 to campus.
Several hundred students began arriving on campus on Wednesday, Aug. 22, to move into the residence halls and take part in New Student Orientation activities. Bringing family members and friends for support—and for extra help with carrying all the bags, bins, mini-fridges and floor fans—the students settled into their rooms, met their roommates and explored the campus.
At the Family Welcome, President Troy D. VanAken reassured parents that their students would be in good hands. “Your student will grow and mature in ways you might not have thought possible,” he said. “They will be challenged to think of their education in terms of making a difference in the lives of others, with their career as part of their purpose in life. And all of this in an environment where they will feel a sense of belonging, where they will be supported, and where they will have fun, define their values and explore their world.”
Then the students said goodbye to their families and started to get acquainted with each other, as well as the campus that will become their new home.
Their busy schedules included meeting their First-Year Seminar classmates and faculty, learning about food insecurity during a community service project, tackling an adventure obstacle course and scavenger hunt, and catching a movie in downtown Elmhurst. They also took some time to explore their values and learn about making the transition to college life.
During the New Student Convocation ceremony, President VanAken described some of the characteristics and accomplishments of the first-year class:
- While most come from Illinois, the students are from 27 states, with double-digit numbers of out-of-state students coming from Michigan, California and Indiana.
- They represent 24 religious denominations.
- 203 students, or nearly 37 percent of the class, are first-year athletes.
- The class includes 12 students who have some form of Alex in their name: Alexis, Aleksandra, Alexander, etc.
- The class includes one set of triplets.
- The class includes several animal lovers, including students who volunteer at rescues and work as dog trainers.
- The first-year class also has artists, poets, competitive cake-bakers—and a day trader.
“Each one of you brings distinctive gifts to your class and your College,” he told the students. “We look forward to getting to know all of you, and to sharing our wonderful college with you.”
In all, about 900 new undergraduates will join returning students and graduate students for the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 27.