Davidson Introduces 465 New Wildcats
To Campus Life With Weekend Activities
During the summer while accepted students anticipated their new lives on campus, physical plant workers and outside contractors dug through a long list of projects to get Davidson ready for the new school year. Foremost among them was completion of West Residence Hall, which houses 128 students in suite-style rooms. Last-minute touches included painting the flag pole in front of Chambers, which was done by Chris Hill and summer worker Jennifer Bowers. Buster Covington (above) and Ronnie Shirley (below) erected a directional sign at the entrance to campus. Members of the College Union Board (l-r) Board President Kirk Willingham '01, Jessica Ruhle '03, Meredith Beattie '01, Anna Padget '01 assembled fliers for information packets to hand out to new students. Erin Smith '01 took her part of the task sitting down!
Jenna Kruppa '04
Kea Sherwood '04
College Park, Md.
Arthur Clement '04
Thomas Ward '04
Whitney Vogler '04
Lake Forest, Ill.
New students arrived Wednesday evening to unpack luggage into their rooms. One of those arriving early was Sloan Milliken from Dallas, Tex., who is ready for biking on campus. New classmates and families got to know each other. Some got acquainted on a quieter campus during the previous week, when athletes, residence hall staff, Orientation Team members and Pre-Orientation program students like (l-r) Krystin Weaver, Jason Scott, and Courtney Ward became the first harbingers of the new school year.
Unloading was controlled chaos, eased by efforts of campus security officer Dane Laney to direct traffice, and by more than 100 Orientation Team members like Jonathan Faulk '03 who helped lug luggage into the residence halls. Erik Heidefois, an international student from Sweden, gazed down on the scene from his new home on fourth floor Little. Tony and Mary Ann Freeze were proud to help son Daniel '04 leave the nest at home. Dad will be able to keep a close eye on his son, since Tony's been a physical plant employee at the college for the past 18 years! Another campus-savvy family member, Lauren Baird '01 (back) helped sister, Katherine Baird '04 (front), with furnishings for her room.
Everyone got a good night's rest, and Shihab Sugeir from Orlando, Fla., was the first in line the next morning to check in for Orientation activities at the College Union. While students waited in line, parents were ushered through their own check-in activity. The fresh coffee was appreciated by early arriving parents like Rick and Carol Williams from East Lyme, Conn., parents of Alan '04. Joining the new arrivals were many students who had just completed Davidson's Odyssey wilderness program. Among them were the class's only two "home boys," (l-r) Rush Beam and Evan Maier, both of whom moved to campus from houses just a few blocks away. The routine inside the College Union included car and bike registration, laundry pickup, campus employment assignments, and whimsical stations where students took the Freshman Juggling Test (about 38% of '04 men and 18% of '04 women can!) and posed for silly photos Ð witness Kristal High of Lakeland, Fla. Members of the College Union board, like (clockwise from bottom)Joy Gerdy, Anna Padget, Matt Zogby, and Shaheen Counts clowned around as well to try to make the newcomers feel welcomed.
Shihab Sugeir was first in line at Orientation check-in.
The Alumni Association hosted a luncheon for alumni parents and their children. Attendees heard welcoming remarks from President Robert Vagt, and a keynote talk from Beth Gardner '03, daughter of Davidson theatre professor Joe Gardner '69 and editor of this year's first year students' Wildcat Handbook. Among those in attendance were David '77 and Amy Yearwood with daughter Liz '04; and Bob '75 and Jan Clayton with two Davidson daughters, Natalie '02 and Haley '04. Another college employee with a child in the entering class is Vice President for College Relations Jamie May '70, whose daughter Rachel follows his path to the alma mater.
Throughout much of the afternoon, new students were herded across campus between stations where they learned about library operations from Director Leland Park ; learned about spiritual life on campus; were introduced to the campus network and computer services; and took the 19th annual Dean Rusk International Awareness Test and American Council on Education continuing study of higher education.
Throughout the afternoon, students were herded across campus.
Parents, meanwhile, had their own set of seminars to attend, including an introduction to the college's Career Services operation by Assistant Director Tony Butchello.
Associate Dean of Student Life Leslie Marsicano, who organized Orientation activities, greeted parents and student who attended the Opening Convocation in Davidson College Presbyterian Church on Thursday evening. Jimmy Roberts '04 who follows family tradition as a Davidson student, was eager to hear words of welcome and advice from Alumni Director Eileen Keeley and President Vagt. To conclude the proceedings, Choral Director Raymond Sprague taught everyone the Alma Mater. Students then attended a mandatory hall meeting, where hall counselors like (l-r) Elder Guin '02 and Joey Harris '02briefed them on the rights and responsibilities of communal living at Davidson. Friday morning's activities included parent and student meetings with academic advisors, and an Activities Fair where college offices displayed their wares and services. Among parents and students stopping by the College Communications booth for a family portrait were:
Jonathan, Patricia and Tim '04 Kelley from Southport, N.C. Ray '72, Jan, and Jan Scott '04 Swetenberg from Charlotte John, Stephanie and Jonetta '04 Johnson from Lithonia, Ga. Danny '70, Sallie and Bentley '04 White from Greenville, S.C. Ken, Sharon and Matt '04 Garfield from Charlotte
Later, Joanie Gidas '04 from Pittsburgh and others enjoyed balloon decorations and lunch al fresco on Chambers lawn. Then it was time for a hug goodbye for all parents, including Sally, Ronnie, and Luke '04 Farmer, as parents departed and children got on with the business of becoming full-fledged Davidson students. During the afternoon they met with faculty advisors. Math Professor Ben Klein helped Mo Idlibi '04 straighten out his schedule.
Once parents were cut loose, students could, too! Friday evening turned raucous as halls competed against each other in the legendary Freshman Olympics. Third Rich's Courtney Laird '04 pasted her biceps with hall pride! The challenging slate of events included crab soccer, the no-hands hula-hoop passing relay , the sneaker dash-and-tie, Earth Ball volleyball... and more Earth ball volleyball!
The Mullets of fourth Cannon brought their game face to the Freshman Olympics.
On Saturday, students were introduced to "The Life of the Mind" in Chambers Auditorium by Clark Ross, vice president for academic affairs. Among the many faculty and staff members who volunteered as group leaders for the day's service projects and book discussion was President Vagt. Jill Williams, assistant community service director then sent half of the assembly off to conduct community service projects at sites like the YMCA, the Ada Jenkins Center, the community food bank, and a Habitat for Humanity home. Emily Pesses '04 from Gloversville, N.Y. helped waterproof the Habitat house foundation, J.T. Tolentino '02 led a cleanup of roadside trash on I-77, (l-r) Laura Flowerree, Ryan Gentzler, and Maelle Fonteneau helped bushwack nature trails at Davidson Middle School, and (l-r) Sarah Vaala and Bentley White helped organize materials for the after-school program at the Ada Jenkins Community Center. Spanish Professor Mary Vasquez was among those volunteers who led discussions of the classes assigned book, All Over But The Shouting by New York Times journalist Rick Bragg. Prior to the small-group discussions, students saw a stage adaptation of the book that starred Matthew Moretz '01 as the man whose self-sacrificing mother helped him overcome an Alabama childhood of utter poverty to eventually earn a Pulitzer Prize. Saturday evening featured a cookout at Lake Norman and hall activities. Students were able to catch their breath most of the day on Sunday, since the only scheduled activities were the Activities Fair and a session on "Understanding the Honor Code." The Activities Fair featured representatives informing newcomers staffing displays on Chambers lawn to teach newcomers about the large number of extracurricular activities available at Davidson. Some were more active than others, including Looney Tunes, where (l-r) Chas Willimon '02 and Ragy Ragheb '01 who jammed to attract participants in their for-fun community service music group. Wildcat Spirit Squad members (l-r) Heather Carroll '02, Amanda Davis '01, Laurie Gomer '03, Elizabeth Spitz '03, and Connor Blalock '02 were on hand to try to recruit new members. (l-r) Muna Musitwa '03 and Alison Moran '03 were interested in the "Steps into the Hispanic Community" program.
The concluding event of Orientation featured student members of the Honor Council talking about the freedoms and responsibilities of the Honor Code. At the end of their presentation, students once again pledged their fidelity to this Davidson tradition by coming to the front of the room and again signing their name to it. Honor council members like Mike Anderson '01 then met with small groups to further explain details of the Honor Code and answer questions about Honor Council operations.
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