ELKINS – Davis & Elkins College is set to embark on a new academic year as students make their way to campus this weekend. New students check in on Saturday, August 17 and returning students arrive on Sunday, August 18, while some student groups have already moved in for early preparations.
Resident assistants came to campus Saturday, August 10 to begin training and help fall student-athletes and new international students move into their residence halls. Various activities are planned on and off campus August 17-18 leading up to the first day of classes on Monday, August 19.
“The goal of D&E’s New Student Orientation is to welcome new students and their families and to begin the process of integrating new students into the intellectual, cultural, social and personal opportunities of Davis & Elkins College,” said D&E Vice President for Student Affairs Scott Goddard. “When students and their families drive down Sycamore Street on Saturday, they will receive a special D&E welcome, and there may even be some fun surprises. This is such an exciting time of year for our students to meet new friends and begin another chapter in their lives.”
New students and their families will head to The McDonnell Center for orientation check-in and Welcome Fair. Between 8 a.m. and noon, more than 30 Elkins area merchants and organizations will showcase their offerings for the newest local residents.
This year, Elkins area community members will join D&E faculty and staff to lend a hand with the move-in process at freshmen residential halls. Lending their support will be the Elkins High School cross-country and basketball teams, Tygarts Valley High School basketball team, Elkins Make it Shine, Elkins Rotary and First United Methodist Church.
The entire campus will have an opportunity to get acquainted at the Welcoming Picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Benedum Dining Room. Live music will be provided by Steel Groovin’, performing Calypso, Latin, pop and rock music, along with traditional sounds of the Caribbean.
Highlighting the afternoon is the Davis & Elkins time-honored Matriculation Convocation in which members of the College Board of Trustees, senior administrators, faculty and staff welcome freshmen to the D&E community. The students will make a processional from Booth Library to Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium, much like the walk they will take for commencement. The ceremony will take place from 2:45-4 p.m. and includes an address by D&E Trustee and alumnus Adam Ouellette ’93.
An author, speaker and trainer, Ouellette is what many would call a “student of life.” After practicing law in Florida for 21 years, he turned his focus to teaching others how to move toward their ideal life in every way. As the owner of adamouellette.com, he offers online videos and classes that help his clients find their true calling and life purpose. Ouellette earned a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 1997 and a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with a minor in history from Davis & Elkins College in 1993. He is the author of “Raising the Bar - Turning a Law Career You Hate into a Life You Love, In or Out of the Law.”
After the convocation, new students, parents and family members are invited to the President’s Reception at Hearthstone beginning at 4 p.m. The event gives families a chance to connect with President Chris A. Wood and First Lady Lisa Wood, as well as faculty and staff members. The reception concludes at 5:30 p.m.
That evening, new students will be entertained with the high-energy, fun-filled “Playfair: The Ultimate Icebreaker” and the Zeta Kappa Xi Sorority will treat everyone to s’mores and more.
On Sunday, new students will spend the day participating in a series of interactive learning experiences designed to encourage thought and reflection about their purpose in life. The day will begin with students meeting their first-year seminar professors. Later, they will hear remarks by President Wood and Ouellette before departing campus for participation in community service projects at more than 20 sites.
Also on Sunday, returning students will check in at The McDonnell Center. The opening chapel service takes place at 8 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel. The kick-off event features upbeat music led by students and a message relating to new beginnings at D&E.
The public is invited to enjoy music and concessions at the annual Last Night of Summer Block Party from 8:30 – 11 p.m. at Halliehurst and the surrounding area. The free event is presented by the Office of Student Life, Student Assembly and Senator Entertainment. Interactive stations available to students include Spin Art Frisbees, DYO Slates, Sandy Candy and cactus or succulent plants.
Live music will be presented by The Brighton Boys, a pop/pop-rock band based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With influences ranging from chart toppers such as Bruno Mars and The 1975 to rock ‘n’ roll sensations Green Day, and everything in between, the band performs covers from throughout the years and upbeat, pop-driven originals.
Classes for all students begin Monday, August 19 and various student-centered activities are planned throughout the week. Among those are the Leading the Way: Senator Nation Kick-off, a service learning project in which student-athletes will help clean up downtown Elkins on Monday evening in preparation for competition in the Mountain East Conference.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.