Elmhurst University welcomed more than 550 new students, along with hundreds more family members and friends, to campus this past week for New Student Orientation and the start of a fresh academic year.
First-year and transfer students participated in several days of orientation activities before joining returning students and graduate students for the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 29.
On the first day of orientation, Aug. 24, many new students spent the morning moving into the residence halls, bringing parents, siblings and shopping bags full of snacks for support. Student-athletes were on hand to help carry carloads of boxes, fans, suitcases and mini-fridges to the rooms.
Reilly Webb, a psychology major and basketball player from St. Petersburg, Fla., brought her parents and younger sister to help her settle into a double room in Stanger Hall. While “pretty nervous” to be away from home, she was ready to find a balance between her classes and sports, and was looking forward to going to Chicago and attending Chicago Sky games.
Reilly’s mom, Darcy, was impressed that President Troy D. VanAken stopped by to personally welcome them to campus—reinforcing the family’s belief that Elmhurst was the right choice.
“I’m excited for Reilly to experience someplace different,” she said. Her advice to her daughter and other new students is “to get involved, try everything you might be interested in—this is your chance. At the same time, it’s important that there are people here who are looking out for you, where you’ll feel more at home and see familiar faces.”
Down the hall, Kali Carter, of Chicago, understood that the day had come for his son, Zachary, to begin to forge his own path. Zachary, who plans to study finance and wrestle, “is very disciplined and will do exactly what he’s told—that said, he’s never had a lot of independence,” said his father, who also is Zachary’s boxing coach. “So that’s what I’m most excited about for him—that he’ll get out from under my wing and start developing into a young man.”
During New Student Convocation, President VanAken told the students that “your experience here will help you to prepare for meaningful work and life in a complex, interconnected and constantly changing world.”
“All of us—faculty, staff, the chaplain and deans, the mentors and advisors—will be here for you throughout your Elmhurst experience.”