With excitement for the year ahead, the Classes of 2021 arrived on campus today to begin their collegiate careers and officially join the Hobart and William Smith community. [To follow the weekend’s events, visit the Orientation 2017 news page.]
John Harper ’21, of West Chester, Ohio and Maddie Filkorn ’21, of Cazenovia, N.Y. were the first of 640 new students to shake hands with President Gregory J. Vincent ’83 and Kim Wilson Vincent on the steps of Coxe Hall before joining their classmates to kick off Orientation.
“I’m looking forward to making new friends and my classes,” says Ellie Nowak ‘21 from Norwell, Mass., who is eager to play lacrosse, join the Colleges Community Wind Ensemble and begin an interdisciplinary course in biology and studio art.
Gathered with their family and friends, students throughout the morning met their roommates, unpacked, explored campus and connected with their Orientation groups. They also reflected on their excitement and the opportunities ahead over the next four years.
“I’m really looking forward to starting classes. I can’t wait to move in and get ready for the semester,” says Elfrieda Nwabunnia ’21, a spoken-word poet and community leader from Upper Marlboro, Md.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity to explore my interests and grow in new ways,” says David Feller ’21 from Cortland Manor, N.Y. A musician who plays six instruments, Feller looks forward to diving into classes in philosophy and Asian studies while immersing himself in campus life.
The Classes of 2021 matriculate with 45% of students accepted to the Colleges early decision and 20% identifying as multicultural, both increases from previous years. The incoming classes also include 44 additional academic scholars.
“I’m excited to be living on the east coast and experiencing new things,” says Robert Padilla ’21, a Posse Scholar from Los Angeles. Having graduated at the top of his high school class, Padilla is interested in playing basketball and intramural sports.
Padilla and his classmates represent 29 states and 27 countries, making the Classes of 2021 one of the most geographically diverse groups in recent years.
Zhuo Chen ’21 and Qiaoran Wang ’20, who both are from Changchun, China, are delighted to begin their academic careers at HWS and were thrilled to meet President Vincent at an International Student Dinner soon after arriving on campus. The new William Smith students were struck by the beauty of Seneca Lake and the campus.
The Colleges also welcome legacy students, those with a parent, sibling, aunt or uncle who is an alum or current student, making up nearly 13% of he incoming classes. “I’m greatly looking forward to challenging myself academically and becoming part of the community,” says Harrison Spencer ’21, of Fairfield, Conn., the nephew of Christopher Spencer ’86. Harrison is looking forward to exploring new passions, as well as diving into familiar ones like ultimate Frisbee and choir.
Matthew Chernok ’21, of Westport, Conn., arrived on campus with his parents Ricky Chernok ’85, P’21 and Julie Chernok P’21. Matthew says he is enthusiastic about the start of the school year. Kelsey Williams ’21, from Rockville Centre, N.Y., agrees. “I’m looking forward to challenging myself with my classes and being able to study what I’m really interested in, and of course meeting new people,” Williams says.