Thursday, August 23, 2012

Class of 2016 participates in orientation

The class of 2016 has arrived, and about 180 first-year students are getting to know Randolph College during a four-day orientation.

Wednesday began with new students moving into the residence halls with the help of faculty, staff, and returning students. Several offices around the College held an open house to answer questions for new students and their families.

That afternoon, the first-year students and their parents met to hear from campus leaders about Randolph’s academic programs and college life.

Randolph College President John E. Klein reminisced about the days that he took his children to college. “It probably seems like only yesterday that you sent your son or daughter off to kindergarten,” he told the parents.

He acknowledged that the new students might feel conflicting emotions as they begin a new chapter of their lives, but he assured them that they are equal to the task. “Over the next four years, you will meet many faculty and staff members who will become your mentors, your support system, and your friends,” he said. “This is going to be a wonderful year, and we are very pleased that each of you chose to join us.”

Carl Girelli, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, welcomed the students with an explanation of the academic rigor that lies ahead of them. “Here, you'll be asked to seek out those ideas, concepts, disciplines, and skills that your mind may tell you are beyond you. We will help you meet those challenges and persevere.”

Matha Thornton, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, explained that part of belonging at Randolph College is the willingness to work with others in a diverse environment. “You belong to a community, and the community will flourish by making the success of others possible,” she said.

“It is my deepest hope that you will be affected profoundly by our community and that your attachment to Randolph will be meaningful,” Thornton said.

Tina Johnson ’93, director of the Experiential Learning Center (ELC), encouraged the students to make connections between what they learn in the classroom and other experiences in the world. She invited the students to visit the ELC for skills assessments, help seeking jobs and internships, study abroad, and other opportunities. “While the next four years will unfold in very different ways for each of you, know that we are all here to assist you.”

Orientation continued Thursday with more sessions to help new students learn about college life and the College’s traditions. On Friday, they will participate in activities including service projects, a ropes course, and an outdoor movie. Saturday is devoted to learning about and celebrating the school’s traditional and respected honor system.