As Elon prepares to welcome its largest-ever incoming class, here is what they will have to look forward to, as well as valuable information and resources to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Soon the sounds of leaves rustling in the wind and birds chirping on the Elon University campus during summer will be joined by the joyful commotion that comes with the university’s annual Move-in Day as the Class of 2026 and their families arrive from all over the world.
On Friday, Aug. 19, over 400 faculty and staff volunteers, 98 student Orientation Leaders and hundreds of student-athletes, SMART mentors, peer educators and others to help all 1,715 first-year students get settled into their new homes.
“Elon’s move-in is a special experience for the entire campus. The energy and excitement are palpable on this day,” said Emily Krechel, director of new student programs. “Everyone from continuing students to faculty, to staff are eager to welcome new students and their families to campus.”
The Class of 2026 has a collective GPA of 4.07 and is one of the most diverse classes to grace Elon, with 19% identifying as ALANAM (African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaska Native and multiracial), 10% as first-generation students, 11% LGBTQIA and 6% international students. There has also been significant growth in those areas with an 8% increase in ALANAM students, a 32% jump in first-gen students and a 52% hike in LGBTQIA students.
The incoming students hail from 45 states and 24 countries, including the U.S. Among the new students are 101 transfer students, 48 engineering students for the newly minted Department of Engineering, 44 students entering Elon’s four-year nursing program and 18 who are joining the 16-month accelerated nursing program.
For 2022 Move-in Day 2022, Krechel said Elon will build off the success of the past two years with a centralized check-in stop at Schar Center. This year when students arrive at Schar Center at their unique move-in time, they will be asked to have their dashboard sign-in that has their housing assignment. Students will be able to check their unique move-in time in their Acorn Account. This will allow for easy directing to the correct check-in line.
Once at their check-in drive-through station, students will talk with volunteers to confirm that they fully comply with the university’s health requirements. Students will receive their new student packet that this year will have everything they need – their room key, orientation schedule for students and families, pre-ordered wristbands and their Phoenix Card, among other required items.
Each residential neighborhood has a unique driving pattern for internal traffic flow making it essential that families arrive on campus at their designated time for a smooth move-in experience. Orientation staff, student staff and campus police will be in place to manage traffic and explain the parking and unloading process. A move-in map with driving directions can be found here.
Later on Friday, incoming students will meet with their orientation leaders, who are returning Elon students who will serve as guides through New Student Orientation and beyond. Throughout the weekend, New Student Orientation includes scheduled times for the orientation leaders to meet with new students and address any questions or issues they may have.
The complete list of activities during orientation weekend, including Late Night Elon, the Family Send-off Picnic and Koury Kickoff, can be found here.
The highlight of Saturday is New Student Convocation at 9 a.m. Under the Oaks, a grove of oak trees in the heart of campus that is the backdrop for many important university events. Convocation serves as the official beginning of the Class of 2026’s Elon careers. President Connie Ledoux Book will welcome the students as they embark on their journeys at the university.
Convocation begins with students gathered in Alumni Gym to hear from Vice President of Student Life Jon Dooley before walking through Alamance Building where they will pass the bell that hung in Old Main before the building was destroyed in the fire of 1923, a remembrance of Elon’s resilience.
Another treasured tradition incoming students will partake in is receiving their acorns. Since 1999, students have received acorns at New Student Convocation as a symbol of their intellectual and personal growth over the next four years. As graduating seniors, students will receive an oak sapling, driving home the transformation they underwent at Elon.
Midday Saturday, students get to spend some quality time with their families at a special Parents/Family College Coffee at Young Commons and the Family Send-off at one of three locations – West Koury Lawn, West Moseley Center Lawn and Martin Alumni Center. Families can purchase wristbands for admission to various events for $17 on the Orientation website and new student T-shirts at Orientation Headquarters in Moseley Center on Move-in Day and Saturday, Aug. 20 for $10.
On Sunday, students are invited to a Speak About It event that aims to educate on boundaries and how to maintain healthy relationships by providing real-life examples and practical tools about consent, sexual assault and bystander intervention.
As health and well-being become more of a focus, students can attend a HealthEU program to connect with staff on the resources available to them to ensure they meet their wellness goals. After HealthEU, orientation leaders will ask students to complete the Elon Asks survey that includes questions about their lives before Elon and their expectations during the first year of college. The university will use this information to understand the students and help design a great first-year experience.
One new event the office of New Student Programs is excited about is the incorporation of a Phoenix Tailgate and men’s soccer game in Rhodes Stadium, an exhibition against East Tennessee State University scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m.
On Monday, the Class of 2026 will commit to Elon’s Honor Code during the Call to Honor ceremony. Each incoming class represents one of the four pillars of the Elon Honor Code – honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect. The Class of 2026 will represent honesty. The student will receive a commemorative coin engraved with the word “honor.”
New Student Orientation ends on Monday night, and Tuesday, Aug. 23, classes for the fall 2022 semester begin.
“I have never worked somewhere where the entire community comes together to ensure such a smooth transition for the newest community member. It truly is a magical day,” Krechel said.