As they crossed Haber Green for the first of many times, Courtney Horst ’19 and Savannah Montgomery ’19 laughed and chatted about rooming together for the upcoming year.
“We were assigned randomly, but it worked out really well,” said Horst, a biology major in the Pre-Physical Therapy track. “I’m excited to not be home anymore.”
The onset of freedom and independence is a tantalizing aspect of the college experience firmly felt on Move-in Day. More than 600 first-year students and 114 transfer students entered the Class of 2019 on Aug. 28, making it one of the largest incoming classes in the University’s 162-year history.
Hundreds of cars and vans created a constant flow of traffic along the campus loop, packed and, in some cases, stacked, with furniture, clothing, and sustenance to last for the first few weeks of life at Arcadia.
With the efficiency of a pit crew, a team of volunteer student-athletes, faculty, and staff unloaded each car (some making record time—just under 90 seconds), allowing families vital time to worry about check-ins and farewells. Though the years may change, the move-in staples stay the same—TVs, mini-fridges, under-the-bed plastic storage bins, and cases (upon cases) of water.
“The campus community came together to help everyone,” said Collene Pernicello, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management.
Despite the name, Move-in Day is an important event for commuter students, as well. For some, like Taylor Sanders ’19 from Philadelphia, it’s a day to get a feel for campus before the semester starts.
“It’s great,” she said. “I love it already. [Arcadia has] my major, and there’s a lot to do here.”
Cosmo DiNardo ’19, who will commute from Bensalem, Pa., plans to be a biology major and is excited to study abroad.
“I’m going to go overseas, hopefully to Italy and the rest of Europe,” he said before returning home to pick up some forgotten items. After all, commuting has its perks.
Such a last-minute recovery of an unpacked necessity would be more difficult for the 14 percent of students attending Arcadia from a distance of more than four hours and the 24 students hailing from overseas. Of the US students from a distance, the largest number come from California, followed by Connecticut, Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts.
Nicole Gieselman ’19 from McPherson, Kansas, is thinking of studying global media. For her, too, study abroad is an enticing prospect, and she hopes to go to an English or Spanish-speaking country.
“I want to travel,” she said. “Arcadia has a great reputation for global programs.”
Nearly 70 first-year students will take part in those programs this year as participants in the First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE). In September, the first group of this year’s FYSAE students will leave for England and Scotland.
Whether here or abroad, students in the Class of 2019 are beginning an important time of their lives.
“You stand at the start of an extraordinary journey,” said President Nicolette DeVille Christensen, addressing the class at the day’s Welcome Ceremony. “One that is limited only by your imagination and determination of what you’d like to do.”