PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS — The quiet and serene campus turned quickly to excitement during Move-in Day at Lebanon Valley College. Happy greetings among roommates and staff assisting new families blended with the sounds of coaching whistles on the fields and music rising from the Pride of The Valley Marching Band on the quad.
Brianne Partington, of Mount Tabor, is part of a record 513 first year and transfer students who arrived on campus, and the 466 students in the Class of 2021 make it one of the largest first-year classes in the College’s history. This year’s new students also included 47 transfer students.
Partington, a graduate of Parsippany Hills High School, is pursuing a degree in music business at The Valley.
“The Class of 2021 found LVC to be a great fit due to their many interests inside and outside the classroom and the knowledge that our faculty, staff, and current students will help them achieve their goals,” said Edwin Wright, vice president of enrollment management.
Frank Newman ’21, from Annapolis, Md., described what brought him to LVC. “As a chemistry major, I find the LVC Chemistry Department very impressive,” said Newman. “The staff and students are helpful and personable. I find them easy to get along with. The first day of orientation made me realize that in addition to getting a great education, students can still enjoy a high quality of life. You can play sports, spend time on your hobbies, and make friends.”
Along with moving into their residence halls, new student orientation also featured the traditional Water Ceremony. Students bring a bottle of water from home and then add it to one of four urns for different geographic areas. Then the water from the urns is added to the pond in the campus Peace Garden to signify the uniting of all students as one class.
A flag raising ceremony welcomed our new international students who hail from nine countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Northern Ireland, France, Thailand, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe, and Vietnam. They raised their country’s flag, which will fly along campus’ main thoroughfare throughout their years at The Valley.
Move-in day concluded with Opening Convocation in Sorrentino Gymnasium, the same spot the students will be in four years when they celebrate Commencement. LVC President Dr. Lewis Thayne and others welcomed the incoming class and their families, and Student Government president Theresa Messenger ’18 dispensed some advice based on her own experience.
“Today is a day that you’ll want to cherish,” Messenger said. “When I say you should cherish this day and the ones to follow, I mean that some of the most incredible things will happen to you and you won’t realize it until years down the road. You are about to embark on the most transformative journey of your life.”
As they settle into life at The Valley, 40 percent of first-year students will compete on one or more of the College’s 25 NCAA Division III Flying Dutchmen athletic teams. With more than 90 student activities and organizations, students have a variety of options to highlight their talents, such as the Pride of The Valley Marching Band, Wig & Buckle theater productions, Student Government, or running the College’s VALE music label.
In his Convocation remarks, President Thayne told students a bright future awaits them and the College is committed to their success. “To each and every one of you, you earned your place in this class,” he said. “We see your talents, your interests, and your potential. We know that every one of you has something valuable to contribute to the LVC community and, after graduation, to the world Everyone here-trustees, faculty, staff, upper class students, and alumni-we are all here to help you succeed in whatever way we can.”
Class of 2021 Profile
53% women, 47% men
15% identify as African/African American, Latina, Asian, and Native American
16 states and Washington, D.C.
Popular programs: physical therapy, actuarial science, biology, business, and early childhood education
3.65 average high school grade-point average