Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
A group of new Oberlin College students walk to Finney Chapel for the presentation of the Class of 2019.
Nearly 825 new Oberlin College students filled the streets Tuesday for the first day of orientation.
The students organized their rooms, toured the campus with their parents, walked around downtown, and attended a welcoming ceremony at Finney Chapel.
President Marvin Krislov and Oberlin College staff greeted the new Obies and their families.
“It’s so exciting to have them back and have new ones here,” said Tina Zwegat, director of orientation.
Of the newcomers, 691 are enrolled in the arts and sciences, 134 will attend the Conservatory of Music, and 38 are pursuing double majors.
“It’s my great pleasure to kick off the beginning of Oberlin’s 182nd year and to celebrate the first official gathering of our new class,” said Debra Chermonte, dean of admissions, at the presentation of the Class of 2019. “You look wonderful. We know today is both exciting and emotional for your families.”
The new students come from 41 states and the District of Columbia.
“Some of you come from just down the street and others of you have traveled from 25 countries from Australia to Vietnam,” Chermonte said.
She said the students have a cumulative score of 1,014,000 points on the SAT and 10,000 points on the ACT.
“We are so delighted that you have chosen to share your talents with the Oberlin community,” Chermonte said, addressing those joining the Conservatory.
“It’s really important to remember that today you become part of a really important and broad legacy of people who believe this community and our ideas can and do impact the world,” Chermonte said. “You are now part of this long-standing, powerful tradition. Welcome to your forever college home.”
Returning students will arrive in town this weekend and classes are set to begin Monday.
Zwegat said one big difference this year is that classes will begin before Labor Day.
On Saturday, students will be seen around town for the annual Day of Service, helping local non-profit organizations with projects or cleaning up their facilities.
“They do service trips all around the county,” Zwegat said.
She believes the Day of Service is one of the highlights of orientation because the new students get a chance to meet people in the community and travel around the city.
“We have close to 600 students participating in the Day of Service,” Zwegat said.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.