Welcome Class of 2018: Orientation highlights, photos, videos, and more!

Welcome, Class of 2018! Today, 724 students arrived on campus from their homes across the country and world.

Opening Day is always one of the most exciting days of the year, and we invite you to check out some of our coverage of Orientation 2014, including Move-In, Opening Convocation, and more!

Move-In Day

This morning, first-year students arrived on campus as hundreds of volunteers helped them settle into their rooms in residence halls Stine, Rice, Paul, Patrick, Hanson, and Huber.

View photos on Flickr.

Opening Convocation

Students embark on their Gettysburg College journey much in the same way they leave: by processing through the doors of stately Pennsylvania Hall.

During Opening Convocation, first-year students also hear from members of the College community such as President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77, Director of Admissions Gail Sweezey, Provost Chris Zappe, the student Orientation leader, and a faculty member [this year, Hakim M.A. Williams, assistant professor in Africana studies and education].

View photos on Flickr.

“Part of this challenge that we hand you entails stepping out of your comfort zone. Some of you have come with concretized plans of what you will study, of your future careers, of your parents’ dreams for your life. None of these are bad,” Williams said. “We merely ask: first, be flexible, stay open to adventure and surprise and exploration, be not rigid and two, do whatsoever makes your heart and your spirit leap for unimaginable joy. When I am in the classroom I count my lucky stars that I get to do what I love so dearly, every single day.”

Watch our opening Convocation.

First-Year Walk

Ian IsherwoodOn the evening of August 28, Civil War Institute assistant director Ian Isherwood '00 spoke to first-year students and members of the campus and greater Gettysburg communities at the 12th annual First-Year Walk. The Walk is a Gettysburg College Orientation tradition that recreates the 1863 procession of students and faculty through town to hear President Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address at the newly opened Gettysburg National Cemetery.

View First-Year Walk photos on Flickr.
Watch the First-Yer Walk video.

“As you touch the grass and gaze at the monument littered landscape that will be your home for the next four years, I want you to ponder one question: What cause will you nobly advance,” Isherwood asked. “I do not ask to shame you into deep thinking or to remind you of the seriousness of your impending adulthood. Eighteen years ago I shared your feelings of hope and anxiety when I came here as a student – your faces remind me of those feelings and I have great empathy with you.”

He continued by encouraging the class to use their Gettysburg education to better themselves and their collective future.

Read more about Isherwood and the 2014 First-Year Walk.


GIV Day is the first opportunity for the incoming class to engage in the local community as well as learn about social justice issues while connecting with classmates, upper-class students and the Gettysburg community.

View GIV Day photos on Flickr.

Join the conversation

Alumni, parents, and friends can follow all of the action on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook. Followers can tag their images or messages with #gburg2018.

View highlights of the social media conversation on the Orientation Storify.

Still want more?

Want to find out even more about Orientation 2014? Check out some of our additional coverage by reading the stories below:

Welcome Class of 2018
Find out more about the talented students that make up the Class of 2018.

Journal of a Residence Coordinator
Senior Abby Conner will be posting daily throughout Orientation 2014.

Top Orientation traditions and experiences at a glance
Check out our top ten list!

You can also view the complete Orientation schedule to learn more about what the first-years are up to this week!

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Wed, 27 Aug 2014

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