They came carrying boxes, mirrors, milk crates, bed sheets, pillows and whatever else would fit in the trunk of the family minivan or SUV.
Union College’s incoming freshman class arrived on campus Sunday for move-in day and the beginning of welcome activities. Joined by their parents and orientation volunteers, members of the class of 2020 unpacked their cars and prepared to start their first year on campus. They later attended a welcome address from campus administrators.
The incoming class is made up of 563 first-year students, according to a press release. It was one of the most competitive admissions cycles in the school’s history, with Union College receiving a record 6,647 applications.
Students and their families descended on the Schenectady campus on Sunday, with members of the class of 2020 hailing from 29 different states and 23 different countries.
At Richmond House and West College, a pair of residence halls located near Seward Place, freshmen were greeted by current Union students who had volunteered to assist with the move-in process.
A look back at 1998
The Union College class of 2020 arrived in Schenectady on Sunday for move-in day.
Most college freshman come to campus as 18 year olds, which means plenty has happened since they were born. As time passes, incoming classes were around for fewer past world events.
With that in mind, take a stroll down memory lane and remind yourself what was going on when this yearâs college freshmen were new to the world. Here are some things that happened 18 years ago, in 1998:
- âTitanicâ won best picture at the 1998 Academy Awards
- Bill Clinton admitted to having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky
- The top three Billboard Hot 100 singles of the year were âToo Closeâ by Next, âThe Boy is Mineâ by Brandy and Monica, and âYouâre Still the Oneâ by Shania Twain
- Movies released in 1998 included “The Big Lebowski,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Hope Floats” and “Mulan”
- United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya were bombed by members of al-Qaeda, killing 224 people
- TV shows that debuted in 1998 included âThe King of Queens,â âDawsonâs Creekâ and âThe Powerpuff Girlsâ
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google
Wearing polo shirts in school colors or green T-shirts with the Nott Memorial building printed on the back, upperclassmen said they were excited to help, with a few of them adding that they remembered moving in as freshman and interacting with volunteers.
“How does your schedule look?” one volunteer asked a pair of freshman as they walked up to Richmond House.
“I have an 8 a.m.,” one responded with a straight face.
Move in began at 9 a.m. and continued throughout the morning and early afternoon. At 3 p.m., new students and their families filed into Memorial Chapel to hear from various administrators. The dean of first-year students, the vice president for admissions and the vice president of student affairs were among the speakers on Sunday.
Wendy Sternberg, the dean of academic departments and programs, said the start of the new year is one of the most exciting times for faculty and staff, adding that it reminds them why they decided to stay in college for a living.
Stephen Ainlay, president of Union College, said as a liberal arts college, it’s important that Union students gain depth and breadth. He challenged them to dive into topics they are passionate about, but encouraged them to step outside their comfort zone and explore new topics.
“Learned people are people who do well in life,” he said.
He added that it would be important for the class of 2020 to take advantage of the opportunities and experiences available to them in college.
“Don’t let college just happen to you,” Ainlay said.
Returning students will begin moving back into campus housing on Tuesday, and the college’s opening convocation for the academic year is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. that day. Classes for the fall term begin on Wednesday.
Reach Gazette reporter Brett Samuels at 395-3113, [email protected] or @Brett_Samuels27 on Twitter.
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