The 2016-17 academic year is now in full swing at Centre College, with first-year students having almost completed their first full week of collegiate classes. The 401 students in the Class of 2020 had a chance to prepare for these new experiences during the College’s annual new student orientation, which gives incoming first-years five days before the start of classes to transition to campus life while getting to know both each other and Centre.
First-year students arrived on Move-In Day, when members of the campus community—including the Residence Life and Student Life offices, professors and even Centre College President John A. Roush—helped those students move into their residence halls. After settling in, the Class of 2020 began their Centre experiences with a variety of events and activities.
Students, as usual, were broken into orientation groups based on their potential major interests, where they got to know each other with the assistance of an upperclassman Orientation Assistant. These orientation groups also met with their shared faculty advisors for a Dessert and Book Discussion, where they bonded further while discussing this year’s New Student Book, “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, who will deliver a convocation address on campus later this year.
Other group sessions and discussions gave the incoming first-years a better understanding of life at Centre, including the “Student Life Insider” with the Student Life Office and an informative lecture from the Student Judiciary on campus policies and rules.
As is tradition, the Class of 2020 also joined President and Susie Roush at the President’s Picnic, at which the students met and dined with the Roushes at Craik House, the president’s home.
The Class of 2020 got to know the Danville community better through Service Plunge, an annual event that gives incoming Centre students the opportunity to make a difference in the local region through service. This year, students worked at a variety of sites across town, doing such things as groundskeeping at the community garden behind Cheek Emeritus House, removing litter from Clark’s Run and cataloging artifacts at the Shelby City African-American Cemetery.
Fun events offered through Late Night Programming gave students the opportunity to relax and decompress, including a movie showing on the lawn in front of Old Centre and, a perennial student favorite, an interactive performance by hypnotist Paul Ramsay.
New student orientation came to a close with the annual Opening Dinner and Opening Convocation, both of which take place on the Sunday prior to the first day of classes each year. New York Times columnist David Brooks, the featured speaker at this year’s Opening Convocation, spoke to a packed Newlin Hall in the Norton Center for the Arts about the virtues of leading “a good life, not just a successful life.” Student Government Association President Sarah Hutchinson ’17 and President Roush also offered words of wisdom to the Class of 2020.
The annual Activities Expo, held Thursday evening, featured the College’s nearly 90 campus clubs and organizations, allowing students the opportunity to get involved with extracurricular groups as well as interact with community members.
As the academic year continues to roll onward, the Class of 2020 is sure to continue shaping their own unique Centre Experience, just like Centre students have done for nearly two centuries.
by Elizabeth Trollinger
September 2, 2016