by Alexis Barton
On August 27, Roanoke’s new class of freshmen officially moved to campus to start their new academic journey. Hailing from many different parts of the country, the Class of 2026 are settling into their new home and are beginning to understand the true Maroon spirit.
This class of new students were unique in that many of them came to campus already being familiar with the nuances of the College. During the month of June, returning students guided the incoming freshmen through an overnight orientation program. Similar to previous Spring Into Maroon days, students had the opportunity to tour campus and meet new friends with the added benefit of staying overnight in a dorm room. The annual building of the R-House in partnership with Habitat for Humanity also took place during this early orientation program, giving students the chance to bond over community service.
Once students officially moved in, they were once again met with joy and enthusiasm from their orientation group leaders and mentors. These students and faculty members gave them insight about the practical side of starting a college career, including workshops about technology on campus, financial aid and navigating their class schedules. There were also several opportunities for fun, including trips to downtown Roanoke and downtown Salem. Freshmen also had the chance at winning big in the beloved tradition of bingo in the Bast Center.
Before the first day of classes, the Class of 2026 joined President Shushok and the faculty for opening convocation. This traditional ceremony marked the beginning of the new academic year and included three student speakers who shared their experience of finding their purpose at Roanoke. While the ceremony stands out amongst the traditional orientation festivities, the ceremony is nevertheless an impetus to what will surely be a fruitful career for the Class of 2026.
Even with the start of classes, freshmen will still have the opportunity to meet with their orientation group leaders as well as other groups on campus to help them navigate their transition to college. Other offices on campus will also continue to provide resources specifically for the freshman class as they grow into the next generation of leaders at Roanoke. Welcome to the Maroon community, Class of ‘26!