WILMINGTON — Some 400 new students joined returning upperclassmen as fall semester classes began Monday morning at Wilmington College.
The entering class completed three days of new student orientation Saturday evening while returning students descended upon the campus over the weekend.
Kameron Rinehart, president of Student Government Association, told the new students they have the unique opportunity to “reinvent themselves” into the best version they wish to become. Indeed, high school was yesterday and their WC classmates have no preconceived notions, so their future starts now.
“You can be 100 percent you 100 percent of the time,” he said at Friday’s New Student Convocation. “If there’s something you want to be, this is the place where anyone can be whoever or whatever they want to be.”
President Jim Reynolds said any student’s transition to college will be full of unexpected “twists and turns,” but how one deals with opportunity, adversity and challenges in college sets the stage for, ideally, a life of service and success.
“You’re in charge of your ultimate outcome,” he said, stressing that many here — faculty, staff and other students — look forward to helping them on this journeys.
Reynolds challenged the Class of 2023 to be the class known for “taking care of each other” while creating a community of respect and persevering in the face of challenges. “Also, be known as the class that made a point in celebrating the differences you have and seeing those differences as a collective strength.”
Dr. Erika Goodwin, vice president for academic affairs, told the new students to embrace this new experience. “Get out and do new things. Do a few things this semester you’ve never done before — your lives will be so much richer!”
Adam Lohrey, director of admission, introduced the entering class of 410 freshmen and transfer students as one with great “promise.” This “very capable” group has a cumulative 3.42 grade point average from high school or previous colleges, including 55 students who earned a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The entering class comes from 14 states and six countries, and 56 students are designated as legacies, which means they have a parent, grandparent or sibling who attended or attends the College.
The convocation concluded with the students traversing the mall to the Campus Rock, which they signed to symbolically start their WC experience. That gesture is bookended when graduating classes sign out during Commencement Weekend.