Orientation group

For the Class of 2017, experiences abound during Orientation

Activities take students around campus, town, and beyond.

Gettysburg College's newest students in the Class of 2017 will have many opportunities to get to know the College, community and one another through experiences and activities during Orientation.

This incoming class of first-year students totals approximately 705, and was drawn from an outstanding total applicant pool of 5,451 students who represent 38 states and 11 countries. The first day of classes is Aug. 26.

Read on to find out more about what the Class of 2017 will experience when they arrive on campus.


AscentFrom backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay to tackling poverty in Adams County and addressing homelessness in DC, the Ascent pre-orientation program gives first-year students an early taste of the leadership opportunities at Gettysburg College. Co-organized by the Office of Experiential Education and Center for Public Service, the program kicked off Aug. 15. Each trip combines both activity and action to showcase important issues and it is a way for students to learn about the unique ways the college integrates learning beyond the classroom.


Move-inFirst-year students will move into their residence halls on Aug. 21. But thanks to the help of hundreds of fellow Gettysburg students who volunteer to assist students and families by carrying armloads of items into their new room, the daunting task takes no time at all. After workshops and panel discussions for both students and parents, the day will conclude with the 182nd Opening Convocation Ceremony for the Class of 2017 - a formal welcoming ceremony for first-year students. This year's faculty speaker is Brent Talbot, assistant professor and coordinator of music education at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music. Watch the video of the event.

First-Year Walk

First Year WalkOn Aug. 22, first-year students will participate in the traditional First-Year Walk to hear a reading of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg. Susan Eisenhower, chair emeritus of the College’s Eisenhower Institute and granddaughter of the former president, will read the address. The First-Year Walk looks back to Nov. 19, 1863, when Gettysburg College students and townspeople processed with Abraham Lincoln to the Soldiers' National Cemetery where he delivered his "Gettysburg Address." David Wills, who was an 1851 Gettysburg College graduate and local attorney, invited Lincoln to deliver "a few appropriate remarks." Lincoln stayed at his home the night before the Address. The First-Year Walk started in 2003 thanks to the efforts of a student, Lindsey Morlock '04, who wanted to find a way for students to connect with this critical moment in history. This year’s walk happens less than three months ahead of the 150th anniversary of the Address.


GIV DayThe Class of 2017 will also be highly visible in the community on Aug. 23 as they participated in the 23rd annual Gettysburg Is Volunteering (GIV) Day. GIV Day is an opportunity for students to learn more about the Gettysburg community and how they can play an active role. Students take part in service projects and discussions on social justice issues. The event is the kick-off program for the college's Center for Public Service.


Field Day

Field DayDuring the afternoon on Aug. 23, first-year students will come together within their respective residence halls to compete in a series of high stakes challenges, better know as Field Day. Bragging rights are awarded to the residence hall with the most wins.

Follow along

Alumni, parents, and friends can follow all of the action on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook. Followers on Twitter and Instagram can tag their images or tweets with #gburg2017.

Complete Orientation schedule

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.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Tue, 20 Aug 2013

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