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New students converge upon Wilmington College's campus

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
New students engage in the Wilmington College tradition of signing the Campus Rock, which indicates the start of a lifelong affiliation with the institution. (Submitted photo)
Randy Sarvis, Wilmington College

"You'll find we are family — welcome home!" echoed during a brief ceremony in front of Wilmington College's iconic Simon B. Goodman Memorial Carillon, where Sigrid Solomon, VP/chief student affairs officer and dean of students, greeted the initial assembly of the Class of 2027 Thursday afternoon (Aug. 17).

That morning, the bulk of nearly 300 freshmen and transfer students arrived on campus for move-in and the start of their three-and-half-day orientation program. From there, they engaged in the Wilmington College tradition of signing the Campus Rock, the symbolic start of what, ideally, will be a lifelong affiliation with their alma mater. Many will sign it again on the eve of their graduation.

The students then processed through a gauntlet of applauding faculty, staff and student leaders en route to Heiland Theatre for the New Student Convocation.

Student Government President Isaac Hackney recalled two years ago sitting there as a "nervous freshman." Today, he holds numerous leadership positions throughout the campus. "Get involved" was his message. "You're starting a new chapter in your life," he said. "I'm rooting for you!"

This year's class of new students features 262 freshmen and 33 transfer students. They come from Ohio and a dozen other states, as well as Norway, Sweden and Zimbabwe. The class boasts a cumulative 3.4 high school grade point average with 44 students identified as legacies or those with parents, grandparents or siblings who attended WC.

Interim President Corey Cockerill urged the new students to be receptive to embracing growth, exploration and enlightenment. "Be bright beacons of light for yourselves and others," she said. "Be doers and thinkers grounded in values."

The orientation program continues through Sunday morning, with classes starting on Monday (Aug. 21).