WILMINGTON — Wilmington College welcomed its newest students to campus Thursday as freshmen and transfer students moved into residence halls and began four days of orientation activities.
Upperclassmen will arrive this weekend, with fall semester classes starting Monday.
President Jim Reynolds, along with his wife, Sue, and several of WC’s vice presidents welcomed and directed new students and their families — car by car — as they pulled into the Austin-Pickett Hall parking lot to move into the freshman residence halls.
An army of volunteers, including students and staff members, was on hand to assist families with the move-in.
Reynolds presided at a convocation of faculty and staff Wednesday in which he predicted 2016-17 — the College’s 146th academic year — has potential to be among the “most exciting” ever.
He cited the completion of the Center for the Sciences and Agriculture, coupled with arrival of faculty and staff, and the waves of students coming to campus that began earlier this month, as serving to enhance the anticipation inherent with a new school year.
“There are a lot of incredibly exciting things happening on our campus,” he said. “I see us as a beacon of light, an island where students can go and think about things they never thought about.”
Indeed, the president said the College literally “changes family trees,” as many students represent the first generation in their family to pursue higher education.
“This is a place that has real meaning. Students have opportunities they’ve never had before,” he said to the faculty and staff in hearkening the College’s hallmark for hands-on learning. “Every day you come to work at Wilmington College, you make a difference in someone’s life.
“All the students we teach and interact with, you’re changing their family tree.”
Included in the New Student Orientation program are ice-breaking activities, learning about campus activities, community service projects, addressing such issues as alcohol use and relationships, and opportunities to learn about local businesses and organizations.