Despite the whirlwind of orientation materials, meeting President Mark D. Gearan, navigating a bustling campus, unloading cars and moving into residence halls, members of the Classes of 2013 and their parents had nothing but praise for Orientation Weekend.
“Orientation is going fantastically well-very smooth,” said Matthew Hynd ’13 of Geneva, Ohio. “Everyone is exceptionally helpful.”
Jesse Wilson ’13 of Rutland, Vt., joked that her journey to HWS was “long but easy since I slept most of the way.”
After checking in at Orientation headquarters, the new Classes made their way through the tents erected on the Quad, meeting deans and trustees, alums and faculty, staff and students, while receiving information about everything from religious life on campus to This Week in Photos.
After lunch in Saga, the Classes of 2013 met up with their Orientation Mentors on the William Smith Green to get acquainted with their Orientation group and get a preview of the weekend events.
Students then met with their advisers and First-Year Seminar professors to discuss the upcoming academic year, before reconvening with their parents on Stern Lawn to hear the official welcome from President Gearan, Trustee Dr. Richard Wasserman ’70, Orientation Coordinators Francesca Antonucci ’10 and Chris Bramwell ’11, and Deans Eugen Baer and Cerri Banks.
“To the members of the Classes of 2013, I join with our faculty, staff, students and alumni in welcoming you to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. To the parents, families and friends, I thank you for entrusting your sons and daughters to us and to the rich tradition of these Colleges,” Gearan said.
“Take advantage of this great place… and the dedicated faculty and staff who will work with you to explore your interests and passions,” Gearan advised. “Far sooner than you can possibly imagine, your days at HWS will end and we will repeat that same handshake on the steps of Coxe Hall that we shared this morning – but it will be at Commencement when I award you your diploma.”
Antonucci and Bramwell advised the first-year students to “use this amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in challenging moments that will test your intellectual boundaries and that will force you to question your assumptions…. Whatever you choose to do, do it to the best of your ability because the chances you take now may lead to newer and better experiences.”
Then, with hugs and kisses, smiles and a few tears, students and families said farewell for now.
Summing up the day, Sally Chakola P’13, mother to first-year David, of Middletown, Md., said that Orientation has been nothing but “warm and welcoming.”