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The 649 members of the Class of 2018 will begin their college careers Thursday, Aug. 21, during the first day of Lafayette’s new student orientation.

Members of the Class of 2017 pose for their group photo during last year’s orientation.

Members of the Class of 2017 pose for their group photo during last year’s orientation.

The students officially will be welcomed to the College community Sunday evening during Convocation ceremonies opening the 183rd academic year. President Alison Byerly, Student Government president Connor Heinlein ’15, and other speakers will kick off the 2014-15 school year. The ceremony will also include the new tradition of presenting the sword of the Marquis de Lafayette to the College’s newest class. Students from all class years are invited to attend.

The four-day orientation program introduces students to the Lafayette community’s values, the College’s commitment to the liberal arts, Lafayette’s history, and academic life. Each year, orientation includes a summer reading assignment designed to pull students into ongoing campus conversations. This year’s discussion will be on The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. The theme of extinction will be featured throughout the school year through presentations, gallery installations, and speakers.

New this year are several programs meant to build class identity through community-focused activities. LAF Talks are comprised of faculty members from each academic division connecting their discipline to the summer reading. This will illustrate the liberal art’s multidisciplinary approach to learning.

LAF as We Know It is a series of skits performed by orientation leaders on topics that will help the new students in their transition to college life, make responsible choices, and provide ways to adapt to a diverse residential environment.

The final addition to this year’s orientation is the Hunt on the Hill. This campus-wide scavenger hunt will introduce new students to Lafayette’s resources and history while they work together to solve riddles about the College.

A group of first-year students has already been volunteering on campus and in the Easton community as part of the College’s Pre-Orientation Service Program. Projects include renovation work in the West Ward neighborhood, a summer day camp on campus and at Firth Youth Center, and crafts and games at the Easton Area Senior Center.

Classes begin Monday, Aug. 25, for new and returning students.

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  1. Barbara Wohlers Kleinert '84 says:

    Can’t wait to take our son, Jack, to freshman orientation tomorrow! His grandfathers ’51 & ’52 would have been so proud.

  2. Bruce Forbes, 1959 says:

    Lafayette College is special. Good luck and “GO LEOPARDS”!

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