Elmhurst U. Welcomes Newest Bluejays

August 30, 2021 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Students moving into Niebuhr Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Amid soaring temperatures and high hopes, several hundred new students got acclimated to Elmhurst University this past week, moving onto campus and taking part in New Student Orientation.

The first-year and transfer students participated in orientation activities before joining returning students and graduate students for the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 30.

The opening of the 2021-22 academic year marks the return to on-campus learning and living at Elmhurst, as well as the ramping up of events and activities celebrating the University’s 150th anniversary, or sesquicentennial.

For the first time in a year and a half, the campus has been buzzing with laughter and activity in ways not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The University’s vaccination and mask-wearing requirements for students, faculty and staff are enabling academic and co-curricular activities to be held almost entirely in person.

During the Family Welcome for new students and their families on Wednesday, Aug. 25, President Troy D. VanAken noted that “in these unprecedented times, today has been especially joyful for me because we’re all able to be together for one of the most gratifying parts of our year.”

Earlier that morning, new students moved into the residence halls, bringing family and friends for support, and meeting the dozens of student-athletes who helped carry the bags, boxes, mini-fridges and fans up to their rooms.

Over the next several days, new students met their First-Year Seminar classmates, faculty members and other students in their major; participated in a community service project and a zipline adventure course; and took some time to explore their values and learn about making the transition to college life.

Their families hoped that, after more than a year of remote learning and other stresses from the pandemic, their students finally would get to have a more typical college experience.

“I want him to enjoy his college years, the time between getting out of high school and becoming a fully functioning adult,” Brenda Tucker-Jeffries said about her grandson, Darion Jeffries, as he moved in to Niebuhr Hall. “I want him to make sure he takes advantage of this opportunity because not everybody has it; and to keep going for his future, whatever he decides that’s going to be.”

And Rachael Bonefas had this advice for her daughter, Ellie, and all the other students embarking on the new school year: “Put yourself out there, do all the activities, talk to everyone, and enjoy every minute.”

View highlights from New Student Orientation 2021

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