Largest class in Elon history moves to campus

Faculty, staff and upperclassmen welcomed more than 1,500 new students Friday morning as members of the Class of 2019 arrived at the university for the start of their collegiate studies.

PHOTO GALLERY: Move-In Day for the Class of 2019

It didn’t take long Friday morning for many of Elon University’s newest students to settle into their homes for the upcoming academic year.

It didn’t take long at all. Literally. Many freshmen said they were amazed at how fast their luggage disappeared from their cars after physical plant staff members, professors, administrators and older students lent assistance for arriving students and their families, an annual tradition at Elon University.

Even the weather helped. Pleasant temperatures under a partly cloudy sky greeted new students from all corners of the country and nearly two dozen nations around the globe.

“I was expecting to move everything in myself and I’ve had so much help,” freshman Kelly Halnen of Norfolk, Massachusetts, said in the Global Neighborhood parking lot. “I only needed to grab two things!”

New this year was a schedule that designated move-in times based on floor assignments rather than distance traveled to campus. Those living on the top floors of residence halls were the earliest arrivals Friday while those on the second and first floors started to appear later in the morning. Several students whose families live closer to campus took advantage of an early check-in the prior weekend, another opportunity introduced for the upcoming academic year.

The change was evident in the short check-in lines in several neighborhoods throughout the morning of Aug. 21, 2015.

Several freshmen shared their enthusiasm for four years of opportunities to study abroad, engage in service work, join student organizations and engage in the intellectual life of the university.

Summer programs have already helped new students prepare for university life. From the “Are You Ready?” webcast series to Elon’s 2015-16 common reading “Why We Can’t Wait” by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., freshmen described a preparedness for the start of their collegiate education.

“It showed you to do your own thing and go above what people say you can and can’t do,” Jess Sabatino of West Windsor, New Jersey, said of the common reading selection.  

Freshman Glen Kleinschmidt of Oak Brook, Illinois, was among the earliest arrivals to the Historic Neighborhood. Kleinschmidt plans to study biomedical engineering and was among those who watched some of the “Are You Ready?” webcasts and web chats.

“A lot of people were asking questions you never thought of that you realize you needed to know,” he said.

The university received 10,257 applications for the newest class. A survey of admitted students indicates 62 percent applied to seven or more colleges or universities, including Elon. Additional information about the class includes:

  • Top 10 states represented: North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Illinois.
  • Top 10 majors: Business Administration, Biology, Psychology, Journalism, Marketing, Finance, Exercise Science, Strategic Communications, International Business and Management
  • Ethnic diversity: 19 percent

Many parents said they were appreciative of the ease with which they moved students into the residence halls and complimented the friendliness of the community. The move-in experience was in line with past visits to Elon for tours and other activities.

“I was impressed with the familial nature of the campus and the small classes,” said Elon parent Sid Mookerji of Atlanta. “It’s also one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve seen!”

Mookerji and his wife, Sophie, had been walking through the Colonnades neighborhood with Andy and Fran Cook of Charlotte, North Carolina. The two couples’ daughters are now roommates.

“I’ve been here three times now, and every time someone has stopped to ask ‘is there something I can do to help you?’” said Fran Cook. “That’s indicative of what makes anything great.”