For Patricia Boorum of Ontario, New York, today is a big day. Her grandson, Jeremy Boorum, a business administration major and member of the Class of 2020, just moved into Columbia Hall.
“I helped my own children move into college, and that was okay. But now, with it being my grandson, it just feels so different and special,” said Patricia, in her bright purple ‘Elmira College Grandparent’ shirt.
“And there are so many people here to help us – it’s been great,” Patricia said.
New students and their families were greeted by dozens of student volunteers ready to unpack cars, carry mini-fridges, and move boxes.
Many students, including Matt François ’18 and Emily Thomas ’19, were up as early as 5:00 a.m. to decorate and line the campus with the traditional purple and gold balloons. Hours later they both were still smiling and ready to unload cars and help new students.
“I volunteer because someone else helped me move in when I was a freshman, and it is a great way to meet the new students,” explained Matt, a psychology and sociology double major.
“Also, moving in for the first time can be tough and it helps to see smiling, friendly faces all around you,” added Emily, a nursing major.
After a morning of getting settled in their new Residence Halls and enjoying lunch in Campus Center, new students and their families headed to Cowles Lawn for the President’s Welcome.
During the Ceremony, President Smith welcomed and shared some advice for the Class of 2020, pointing out the importance of getting involved on campus, building a network of friends and colleagues, and making connections with people who can help them in their career.
In addition, President Smith assured students that “there is no pressure to decide now” what they wanted to for the rest of their lives. Rather, he encouraged them that the “next four years set the foundation for your life, so do everything you can to explore, find your passion and be successful.”
Chris Coons, Vice President of Enrollment Management, continued the welcome ceremonies with an overview of the Class of 2020:
Students in this class come from 22 states, with slightly more than half hailing from New York. Other top states include Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Texas.
The Class of 2020 includes students from seven foreign countries – Afghanistan, Canada, France, Ghana, Morocco, Norway, and Sweden.
One international student, Haroon Rahimi traveled 6,728 miles to reach Elmira College – the furthest of any student.
A U.S.-based student, Jodie Wong, is 2,399 miles away from her home in Oakland, California. She has the honor of the being the furthest domestic student.
“Geographic diversity and a strong international connection continue to be strengths of Elmira College,” emphasized Coons.
At the end of his speech, Coons asked students to put on their class beanies – a long-standing tradition at Elmira - and declared, “you are now officially a member of the Elmira College family.”
The ceremony concluded with new students singing the alumna mater, lead by the Orientation Leaders. At the song’s conclusion, new students and parents hugged and said their farewells.
While parents head home, the orientation fun continues for students with performances, games and traditions such as Candlelight Ceremony – a long-standing and cherished Elmira College tradition.
In reflecting on the day, Patricia couldn’t be more excited for her grandson, “I am so happy he chose Elmira College.”
We are, too! Welcome all new students and the Visionary Class of 2020!
One Park Place
Elmira, New York, 14901
P: (800) 935-6472