Lehigh’s 160th class received a warm welcome during this year’s Orientation, which accepted more than 1,500 first-year students from 44 states and territories and 38 countries.
The festivities started Thursday with a lively Move-In Day, which looked more like previous years before the pandemic.
For the first time in two years, Lehigh’s MOOV (Made of our Volunteers) representatives were back to help—directing traffic, unloading cars and delivering students’ belongings to their dorm rooms.
On Friday morning, Danielle Lindeman, associate professor of sociology, delivered the keynote address at Convocation. She reflected on the first-year experience theme, “Crafting our Community with Care,” and relayed what professors want students to know as they begin college. On Friday evening students were invited to explore South Side Bethlehem.
There were free lawn games, music and ice cream on the South Bethlehem Greenway. There was also an open mic night in Farrington Square and activities on the Clayton University Center Lawn, including a zip line and artists doing caricatures, henna and spray paint art.
On Saturday, for the 77th year, The Rally welcomed first-year students. The event is a longstanding tradition where students are adopted by alumni who were introduced to Lehigh 50 years prior. This year, the Class of 1976 adopted the incoming Class of 2026.
In addition to first-year students, the Lehigh community also grew by more than 600 new master’s and doctoral students, including the first graduate students admitted directly to the College of Health.
For the first time, the Graduate Life Office offered a two-day, pre-orientation program, called “G-Pop,” which aims to empower underrepresented graduate students by fostering community and reducing barriers to success. There were 17 new graduate students who participated.