'Jump in — don’t hold back': Brandeis welcomes the Class of 2022

The university's largest first-year class ever arrived on campus Sunday, Aug. 26

A first-year gets some help from her family as she moves in to her residence hall.Photo/Mike Lovett

A first-year gets some help from her family as she moves in.

(Open the View Slideshow link above to see images from first-year move-in day)

On a postcard-perfect day, Brandeis’ largest entering class ever was welcomed with snacks, music and hundreds of helping hands.

After moving their belongings into residence halls in the morning, members of the Class of 2022 gathered on Chapels Field Sunday afternoon for Convocation, the official ceremony welcoming new students. President Ron Liebowitz urged Brandeis' newest students to learn and live the university's special history of openness, inclusion and a commitment to repair the world; to help define and build the university community; and to take full advantage of the opportunities that await them.

horizontal blue bar

Move-in 2018 coverage:

Boston Globe: A throng of Brandeis newcomers settles in

Video: Brandeis first-years get into the swing of college

The numbers behind the Class of 2022

Freshman year flashback: Photos of Brandeis faculty and staff from their first year

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences welcomes 65th class

Photos: Inside Skyline, Brandeis' newest residence hall

horizontal blue bar

"Jump in, don't hold back," he said. "You are joining an academic and intellectual community that offers an exceptional undergraduate education with meaningful research, collaborative learning and co-curricular opportunities."

At the same time, he cautioned against becoming overwhelmed.

"Choose wisely and don't over-choose," he said. "You can only do a limited number of things well, and if you spread yourself too thin you will fail to take advantage of the many great things Brandeis has to offer, most of which require deep dives and a true commitment on your part."

Provost Lisa Lynch, P’17, whose daughter graduated from Brandeis last year, advised parents, relatives and friends of the newest class to give the students space to grow, but also be ready to support them through challenges.

"You know they deserve to be here at Brandeis and that they can succeed. Our admissions office does not make mistakes," she said. "Help them figure out how to navigate through those trying moments that are a part of anyone's college experience."

She also had some advice for first-years: "Call home!" she said. "Text if you have to. When our daughter started at Brandeis she decided for the first four weeks not to call home.  My husband would call me at work here every day saying, 'Why don’t you go in front of her class and see how she is doing?' So if you do not want your family outside your classroom  call home!"

Photo/Mike Lovett

The scene at Chapels Field for Convocation.

Earlier in the day, about 800 of the 907 members of the Class of 2022 arrived in a caravan of cars that lined up according to residence hall in the Theater Lot on Sunday morning. (The other 100 first-years arrived on campus earlier in the week for pre-Orientation programs.) Minivans and SUVs were queuing before the official “go” time of 8:30 a.m., and as of 11 a.m., only 33 first-year students had checked in. Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Timothy Touchette checked students in as they waited for the OK to drive to their residence hall.

That kind of precision and coordination doesn’t happen by accident; in addition to Touchette and Department of Community Living staff, Orientation Leaders (OL), led by Director of New Student Orientation Jenny Abdou, were on hand working the lines of cars to provide snacks, drinks, information, excitement and reassurance to new students and their families.

License plates told the story of the Class of 2022’s geographic diversity, with students from 38 states and 30 countries. Plates from Ontario, Canada; South and North Carolina; Maryland, Florida and Virginia accompanied plates from the New England states, and New York and New Jersey.

the class of 2022 has 909 students. There are also 14 valedictorians, 17 class presidents and 18 percent are first generation

Rachelle Sanders, mother of Leora Sanders ’22 of Scarsdale, New York, beamed as she waited in her car. “I couldn’t be happier — I’m so excited for her and so happy for her — this is the perfect place.”

Seeing the campus for the first time Sunday, Madison Cheung ’22 of Portland, Oregon, said she was experiencing “some mixture of excitement and nervousness.” Liebowitz, on hand to personally welcome first-years, along with Lynch and other administrators, ducked into her car window to let her know that another new student from Portland was just two cars behind hers.

Next, students and families were greeted by small armies of OLs at each residence hall ready to unpack their cars and deliver their belongings to their rooms in a matter of minutes. It became clear that getting stuff into the rooms quickly was much easier than figuring out where to cram everything.

“If we get enough people we can get it all up in one go,” said Pippa Zheku ’20.

New Usen roommates Jenni Corwin ’22 of West Palm Beach, Florida, Tori Sanchez of Nashua, New Hampshire, and Saniyah Boone of New Haven, Connecticut had communicated via text, Google Hangouts and a couple of video chats, admired the view from their room of the Massell Quad Pond.

“After some pretty intense research I figured out [Brandeis] was the best fit for me,” said Sanchez, because of its reputation for social justice — and its relative proximity to home and her three younger siblings, one of whom, Katherine, 3, sat on her lap taking it all in.

Corwin said she had done a lot of college touring, and didn’t find the authenticity she experienced at Brandeis anywhere else. “I got here and met the nicest people ever, and it just drew me in.”

Boone said she learned about Brandeis from an alum her mom had worked for, and her high- school college counselor also encouraged her to apply. “It’s going to be new to me but I’m ready for that,” she said.

Photo/Mike Lovett

Orientation Leaders take a quick dance break while helping first-years move in.

Sandwiched between a buffet lunch on the Great Lawn and Convocation, students and families attended the student services fair in the Shapiro Campus Center  as well as panel discussions on the student and family experience at Brandeis.

At the conclusion of Convocation, students reported to their residence halls for meetings with their community advisers while parents and families headed to Skyline, Brandeis' newest residence hall, for refreshments and an arresting view of the Boston skyline.

At dusk, after parental goodbyes, the new class gathered at the “Light of Reason” art installation for a candlelight vigil called “Light up the Night.”

Orientation activities continued through Tuesday. Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 29.

Enter Title
Photo/Mike Lovett

The class gathered at the “Light of Reason” art installation at the Rose Art Museum for “Light up the Night.”

Categories: Alumni, Student Life

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage