Skip to main content

First Gathering and New Student Orientation 2018

The journey is underway for the Class of 2022, which arrived to a sweltering campus last week and participated in several Swarthmore traditions, including the First Community Gathering and First Collection. During that initial week on campus, the new class also took time to unwind with games on Parrish Beach, explored numerous academic paths at the annual academic advising fair, and received free plants from the Scott Arboretum.

On the first day of orientation, community leaders, including President Valerie Smith, welcomed the Class of 2022 and reflected on the importance of the arts and the joy of shared creation. On Saturday night, new students enjoyed First Collection, a long-standing tradition held in the Scott Amphitheater that marks the official beginning of every student's experience. At that event, students share insights, pass the light of their candle to one another, and sing the alma mater.

Three students hold candles facing camera

First Collection for the Class of 2022.

Scott Amphitheater lit by students with candles

First Collection for the Class of 2022.

One student transfers flame to another student's candle

First Collection for the Class of 2022.

Student with candle looks off to side

First Collection for the Class of 2022.

Student holds candle and copy of alma mater.

First Collection for the Class of 2022.

Student carries items into Wharton coutrtyard

Students assist on Move-In Day for the Class of 2022.

Student with hands full on move-in day

Students kept busy on Move-In Day.

President Smith with student on move-in day

President Valerie Smith talks with a member of the Class of 2022.

Students get to know each other in circle on Parrish Beach

Students get to know one another during New Student Orientation.

Orientation advisors during Class of 2022 Meeting

Orientation advisers sit in on the Class of 2022's first meeting.

Students with plants from Scott Arboretum giveaway

Students receive plants at the Scott Arboretum giveaway.

Professor points to blackboard during advising

The annual new student academic advising fair.

Student at advising fair

The annual new student academic advising fair.

First-generation college students pose for photo in Tarble

First-generation college students pose for photo in Clothier Hall.

Class of 2022 forms "2022" on Mertz field

Photo of the Class of 2022 on Mertz Field.

First Collection for the Class of 2022.

Photo /
1 of 15

Watch: First Community Gathering 2018 - President Valerie Smith

"Now we find ourselves in a moment when the arts and the humanities, for that matter, are considered to be unnecessary, superfluous to education at virtually every level. As you begin your careers at Swarthmore, I want to disabuse you of that notion, and to encourage you to seize the opportunity to embrace the arts as an important part of your education."

Watch: First Community Gathering 2018 - Deondre Jordan '19

"The more you reach into Swarthmore and take all it has to offer, the more it will reach back to touch and transform your life. And it's not only a transformative experience for you, but for those you come in contact with."

Watch: First Community Gathering 2018 - Lynne Steuerle Schofield '99

"Statistics has taught me you should spend time with people who vary from you. Because people who are just like you will not stretch you very much. Just as we statisticians cannot make inferences or predictions from characteristics that don't vary, neither will you learn if you spend your time only with people whose characteristics are just like yours."

Watch: First Community Gathering 2018 - Emily Anne Nolte Jacobstein '07

"As you start your adventure at Swarthmore, dive in, explore it all, join these clubs, try a new sport, and take on a new challenge. Enroll in those classes you'd never even heard of until you saw the course catalog. This is your chance to do exactly that. And don't be afraid—you have an entire community here to support you and help you through it. All you have to do is ask."

Submissions Welcome

The Communications Office invites all members of the Swarthmore community to share videos, photos, and story ideas for the College's website. Have you seen an alum in the news? Please let us know by writing news@swarthmore.edu.