NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- Westminster College kicks off its 169th academic year on Friday, Aug. 27, with the arrival of nearly 350 new students to the New Wilmington, Pa., campus.
Of the new arrivals, 326 are first-year college students, while 18 are transferring to Westminster from other institutions. The new students represent 25 different states, with most coming from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Maryland, New York and Virginia. Business administration, biology, nursing and psychology make up the most popular majors for the members of the Class of 2025.
First-year and transfer students will arrive at scheduled times staggered throughout the morning on Aug. 27 to begin the move-in and orientation process. Each student and two family members or helpers will be given a 90-minute window to unload vehicles and take personal belongings into their assigned residence hall. Student orientation leaders will be on hand to assist families with move-in.
Incoming students who are not fully vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus will be tested prior to checking into their residence halls. Masks are required in all indoor spaces at Westminster, regardless of vaccination status. Exceptions to this requirement are students in their residence hall rooms, those working alone in enclosed spaces such as private offices or labs, those actively eating or drinking, and those students actively competing in varsity athletics.
After students have moved into their residence halls, a 1 p.m. Opening Convocation ceremony in Orr Auditorium will officially welcome the Class of 2025 to Westminster. Only students and speakers—including Westminster President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson, Campus Chaplain the Rev. James Mohr, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Dr. Jamie McMinn, Professor of Spanish and Film Studies Dr. Jeffrey Bersett and Student Government Association President Noah Pollio ’22—will attend Opening Convocation. Family members will be able to view a livestream of the ceremony in the Witherspoon Room of McKelvey Campus Center.
After parents depart campus, students will begin the orientation process, which will include small-group sessions to aid students in the transition to college life, team-building activities and social events. Community socials will be held for special affinity groups—students of color, LGBTQIA+ or first-generation college students—to provide an opportunity for those with shared identities and backgrounds to begin building a sense of community at the outset.
“Affinity groups are helpful for identity development, wellbeing, mentorship, and social support. By creating these spaces, it reinforces Westminster’s commitment to affirming the various dimensions of diversity that are present on our campus,” said Candace Okello, associate dean of student affairs at Westminster College.
Returning Westminster College students will arrive on campus Aug. 28-29 and fall semester classes will begin Monday, Aug. 30. Mid-term break will be held Oct. 23-26. Fall classes will end Dec. 10, with semester finals running from held Dec. 13-16.