Incoming Class Flocks to Campus for Beginnings

  • Alexander Valencia ’13 and his mother, Valencia Valencia, discuss meal-plan options with Dining Services Manager Loni Drosinski in the Steinman College Center Monday afternoon.  
  • Admitted students and their parents pack the atrium of the Steinman College Center Monday during the Beginnings Information and Activities Fair.

It has been a bustling, celebratory week of fresh starts and transitions at Franklin & Marshall College. Graduating seniors, having celebrated Commencement on Saturday, recently departed campus to begin their post-college lives. This week, on May 18 and 20—the program wraps up on May 22—hundreds of members of the new, incoming first-year class arrived to embark upon their own academic journeys at F&M.

Even though the first day of classes is still months away, the Beginnings program offers new students the chance to come to campus early to participate in their first official Franklin & Marshall activity.

“Beginnings has been a hugely successful program for many years, and we’re looking forward to this being the biggest and best year to date,” said Senior Associate Dean of the College Steven O’Day, who heads the program. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Class of 2013 and their parents to get a head start on learning what the first-year experience at Franklin & Marshall is all about.”

This year’s program was expected to be larger than those of years past, with 560 admitted students in attendance. “Each day has more than 180 members of the Class of 2013, along with their parents, in attendance,” O’Day said. “They are introduced to their College House don and prefect, are able to meet some of their new classmates, gain valuable academic advising from members of the faculty, are interviewed by upper-class student leaders of their College House for roommate preferences and get a sense of what it’s all going to be like when they arrive in late August to begin their college experience.”

They also have the chance to attend to nitty-gritty details, such as opening bank accounts, taking ID photos, meeting with coaches and taking placement tests.

Parents enjoy their own separate program of introductions and activities. They learn about the College House system and student life and eat lunch in the Ben Franklin Dining Hall, where they can meet their child’s classmates and professors. Both President John Fry and Dean of the College Kent Trachte welcome participants and encourage the incoming class to make the very most of the experiences that Franklin & Marshall has to offer.

Representatives of Career Services, the Business Office, Student Activities, Study Abroad and The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement are also on hand answering questions, orienting families to their offerings, and making students aware of the full range of academic and extracurricular possibilities available to them.

Says O’Day, “I think it’s wonderful that so many students take time out from their busy last days of high school and are so excited to come to Beginnings, meet people, and immediately become a part of the extraordinary F&M community.” With the Beginnings program, this future graduating class will be prepared to hit the ground running in the fall.

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