Gettysburg College's newest students volunteer, get to know their new 'home'

One day after moving into residence halls, Gettysburg College's newest students were highly visible in the community Aug. 27 as they participated in the 19th annual Gettysburg Is Volunteering (GIV) Day and traditional First-Year Walk to hear a reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg.

About 250 members of the class of 2013 volunteered during GIV Day, serving and learning in three areas of the Gettysburg community: environment and environmental justice, socio-economic issues, and education issues for adults, children and migrant workers. Students took part in service projects or discussions with local organizations associated within each area, leading to a broader understanding of the issues. Students then returned to campus for reflection facilitated by other students, faculty and community members. The event is the kick-off program for Gettysburg College's Center for Public Service.

The First-Year Walk looks back to Nov. 19, 1863, when Gettysburg College students, townspeople and Abraham Lincoln processed along Baltimore Street to the National Cemetery site, where the president dedicated the Soldiers' National Cemetery and delivered his Gettysburg Address. Students and facilitators met at Christ Chapel at 6:45 p.m. The group traveled east on Stevens Street, turned right onto Carlisle Street, continued around the square, and then down Baltimore Street. The walk culminated at the cemetery, where Bruce Gordon, a 1968 graduate and former president of the NAACP, read the Gettysburg Address. Other speakers included Gettysburg Mayor William Troxell and Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs.

While en route to the cemetery, orientation group leaders and volunteer facilitators familiarized first-year students with downtown businesses and historic landmarks, such as Thaddeus Stevens Hall, named after the abolitionist congressman and College co-founder who authored the 14th Amendment; the Eisenhower House, where the retired president and College trustee wrote his memoirs; the Wills House, the restored home of David Wills, who was an 1851 Gettysburg College graduate and the local attorney who invited Lincoln to deliver some remarks and Lincoln stayed at his home the night before his Address; and the Jennie Wade House, where the battle's only civilian casualty was felled by a stray bullet.

First-year students this year total approximately 730, coming from 29 states and 11 foreign countries. The class of 2013 was drawn from one of the largest applicant pools in the College's history. Some 40 percent of applicants were admitted. Total enrollment this year is forecast at approximately 2,600. The first day of classes is Aug 31.

Orientation 2009 coverage

Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. It is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.

By: Kendra Martin, director of media relations, 717.337.6801

 

Posted: Tue, 25 Aug 2009

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