Welcome Class of 2023: Orientation, information, and more


In light of predicted high temperatures Wednesday, August 21, the Convocation ceremony will be moved to the south side of Pennsylvania Hall, which is shadier. The ceremony will be held rain or shine with a shortened program. If high winds, lightning, or heavy rain are predicted or occur during the ceremony, we will disperse and end the ceremony. Text message will be used to communicate if this occurs.

We will provide alternate viewing locations indoors for students, families, and staff with health conditions that are complicated by the heat. Families will also have the option of viewing the Convocation via livestream on campus in the College Union Building's Ballroom, Bullet Hole, and Junction. In case of inclement weather, students and their families are encouraged to bring appropriate rain gear. It is advised to also bring water and stay hydrated. There will be water stations located around the perimeter of family seating. If additional assistance is required, the Department of Public Safety will be on hand to support our attendees.

In keeping with our tradition, students will process through Penn Hall as planned and will be led by staff. Families, faculty, and staff should remain seated on the south side of Penn Hall.

Business casual dress is recommended. Due to the heat, faculty and platform party need not wear academic robes and are encouraged to wear business casual dress.

For questions, contact Keira Kant, Associate Dean of College Life: kkant@gettysburg.edu


On Wednesday, Aug. 21, Gettysburg College will welcome 704 new members of our community, as 690 first-year students, including 31 international students, and 14 transfer students come to campus. This Orientation also marks the first for Gettysburg College's 15th president, Bob Iuliano.

“From sending our first-year mailing in May to assembling our first-year welcome bags this week, we have all been working very hard this summer to welcome the incoming class to the Gettysburg College community,” said Student Orientation Coordinator Julianna Pestretto ’21. “We are so excited to finally see everyone on campus and to share this year’s Orientation program with you all!”

Nearly 250 volunteers will greet the new students and their families as they help with the move-in process. Traffic patterns around campus will be altered in order to facilitate unloading.

Once they are settled in their residence halls, students will then officially matriculate at the 188th Convocation ceremony.

The ceremony—which will be held rain or shine—will take place on the portico on the south side of Pennsylvania Hall at 4 p.m. After an address from Public Policy Prof. Anne Douds, a welcome from Pestretto, and remarks from Iuliano, the class will proceed through historic Pennsylvania Hall, marking their first steps as members of the Gettysburg College community.

The ceremony will be livestreamed and will have an alternate viewing location on campus in the College Union Building's Bullet Hole and Junction. In case of inclement weather, students and their families are encouraged to bring appropriate rain gear.

View the entire Orientation schedule.

Students from the class of 2023 at a send off event

The 17th annual First-Year Walk will be held the following day. Gettysburg College students, faculty, and staff will walk from the College to the national cemetery, recreating the walk taken in 1863 as members of the College community accompanied President Abraham Lincoln to the cemetery where he delivered the Gettysburg Address. Matthew Moen, president of the Gettysburg Foundation, is the event’s featured speaker. Mayor Theodore Streeter will also speak at the event and welcome the incoming class by presenting Cynthia (Thia) Anyaoku ’23 with a key to the city.

Other notable events for new students include Friday morning’s GIV Day, Saturday evening’s Experience Gettysburg event (a livestreamed forum offering perspectives from current students), and Sunday afternoon’s Field Day on Memorial Field.

Get excited to partake in all College traditions, and watch Pestretto and the Orientation student staff answer common questions via Instagram on Aug. 14.

Use #gburg2023 on Twitter and Instagram to join the conversation, follow the incoming class’s experience, and share your own Orientation stories. First-year students can stay up-to-date with everything Orientation through the Gettysburg College: Class of 2023 Facebook page.

Photos by Shawna Sherrell
Posted: 08/21/19