Photos: Brandeis welcomes the Class of 2026

5 students pose for the camera in front of a lit up Light of Reason art installation

The positive energy was palpable as the Class of 2026 filled their residence halls, said goodbye to their parents, and began the next chapter of their lives at Brandeis’ 2022 Move-In Day on Sunday.

With an enrollment of 996, the class is the largest in university history.

Photo/Mike Lovett

Lyn Stanley ’26 arrived on campus Sunday morning after flying in from Chicago. Stanley had already built relationships with classmates online and was excited to meet them in person. "I feel like I've already made so many friends," Stanley said.

OLs greet cars arriving for orientation
Photo/Mike Lovett

A stream of cars was greeted by Orientation Leaders as they arrived in the Theater Lot Sunday morning.

A student gets information from an orientation leader at a tent in the parking lot at orientation
Photo/Mike Lovett

Amanda Zhang ’26 picked up her residence hall key Sunday morning. Her older brother and sister came with her from Acton, Mass. to help her move-in. She was feeling excited and a little anxious. "I hope the food is good!" Zhang said.

5 alumni pose for the camera. They came to campus to help with move-in
Photo/Mike Lovett

Temperatures climbed toward 90 degrees, but spirits stayed high. As part of a new initiative, “Alumni @ Move-In Day,” a team of alumni returned to campus to lend a hand Sunday. Gary "Sundance" Clay '80, Jose Perez '75, Lewis Brooks ’80, P’16, Sharon Rosenberg ’00, Hanna Switlekowski ’13, and many others gathered in the Theater Parking Lot to greet the new class and their families. 

"We're loving it, and the parents are loving it, too," said Brooks, who is president of the Brandeis Alumni Association. "We're all sharing our Brandeis stories and having a good time. We hope this will be the beginning of a new alumni tradition."

A student and her mom unpack her resident hall room
Photo/Mike Lovett

Molly James ’26 set up her room in Deroy Residence Hall with her mom, Alisa. James, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, was looking forward to practicing with her teammates on the women's basketball team and for the season to get started.

Two roommates and their families pose for the camera in the room
Photo/Mike Lovett

New roommates Alexis Gutierrez ’26 of Queens, N.Y., third from left, and Ian Baker ’26 of Atlanta, Georgia, second from right, got plenty of help from their families as they moved into their room Sunday.

A student gets their student ID photo taken
Photo/Mike Lovett

Throughout the day, new students steadily streamed into the Campus Card Office in Kutz Hall for their IDs. Above, Luisa Quispe '24 takes a photo of Allie Lanham '26.

A dad puts together a bookshelf
Photo/Mike Lovett

Outside of his son Jacob's room in Shapiro Residence Hall, Mike Morse was put to work building a storage cart, but he didn't mind. "It's a great day. I'm excited for him," he said.

A mom helps her daughter bring some belongings up a set of outdoor steps
Photo/Mike Lovett

Sadie Giddings ’26 drove to campus from Chicago with her mom Carrie. She was looking forward to taking courses in her planned major, environmental studies. "The classes and professors seem great," she said. "I can't wait to get started."

A student speaks to the crowd at Chapel's field
Photo/Mike Lovett

After settling in and meeting their roommates, the Class of 2026 and their families gathered on sunny Chapel’s Field for Convocation on Sunday afternoon. Brandeis leaders wished them well as they began their collegiate careers. Then the new students gathered to meet their Orientation Leaders.

Throngs of students at the light of reason art installation at night
Photo/Mike Lovett

The Class of 2026 then said goodbye to their parents, and turned their attention to New Student Orientation activities. At dusk, they gathered at the “Light of Reason” art installation outside the Rose Art Museum and hoisted LED candles toward the sky for Light the Night, an annual initiation event for each incoming class.

Three students smiling, sitting on a light up swing
Photo/Mike Lovett

From there, they headed to the Great Lawn to get to know their classmates at the Bright the Night Social Event. 

Students chat at book forum
Photo/Mike Lovett

Monday marked the beginning of three days packed with Orientation events ahead of classes starting on Thursday, Aug. 25. Students gathered in Spingold Theater Monday afternoon for the Helen and Philip Brecher New Student Forum, where they heard from acclaimed author Elizabeth Kolbert. Each year, a new book is selected as the subject of the forum, where the incoming class has a shared academic experience. Kolbert’s "Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future" was this year’s selection.

After the event, Maya Kushner '26 and Madison Holmes A Court '26 chatted with Kolbert on the Spingold stage.

Students sit in a circle in Fellow's garden during orientation
Photo/Mike Lovett

Along with big events that bring the whole class together, like a campus sleepover social event and a trip to the Boston Museum of Science, Orientation also features numerous breakout sessions and small group discussions to prepare the new class for the years ahead.

Categories: Alumni, Student Life

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