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Emory prepares to welcome the Class of 2022

As hundreds of first-year students move into campus residence halls this weekend, they will be greeted by enthusiastic volunteers and a busy schedule of orientation activities designed to create connections within the campus community. Emory Photo/Video

Campus activity will roar to life this week as Emory University prepares to welcome the Class of 2022, a talented group of first-year students from all over the world eager to launch their Emory experience.

For some, the chance to study at Emory has been a long-held dream. For others, the opportunity to attend a top research university with the liberal arts at its core represents a never-imagined goal, now being realized through life-changing scholarship support and financial aid.

And it all starts as Emory’s newest students are welcomed to campus by hundreds of staff and fellow students, who will devote thousands of hours to helping them move luggage, settle in and feel at home.

On Saturday, some 1,440 first-year students, plus transfer students, will begin the four-day orientation experience for Emory College of Arts and Sciences on the Atlanta campus — an introduction that ranges from moving into residence halls and meeting academic advisers to Songfest practice, campus tours and peer discussions. Returning Emory students and continuing students from Oxford College will move in on Sunday. 

Oxford College is set to welcome 533 first-year students, who will move in and begin new student orientation on Friday. Sophomores at Oxford move in Tuesday, Aug. 28, in preparation for the first day of classes on Aug. 29.

The entire Class of 2022 — nearly 2,000 students from both Emory College and Oxford College — will assemble Sunday, Aug. 26, for a class photo on the Emory Quadrangle. The gathering will feature remarks from Emory President Claire E. Sterk, Emory College Dean Michael A. Elliott and Oxford College Dean Douglas A. Hicks.

With top academic scores, athletic, artistic and literary talents, and a demonstrated record of community engagement, it’s an impressive class, selected from a record-breaking pool of applicants, says John Latting, associate vice provost for enrollment and Emory’s dean of admission.

“With this class, Emory continues to advance our ability to enroll the kinds of students that we most want to be here and who can benefit from the opportunities we offer,” he says. “I think the faculty will be delighted and the Emory community will really enjoy getting to know them.”

Largest class on record 

Emory University offers two unique starting points for prospective first-year students: They may apply to enter Emory College on the Atlanta campus or to study for their first two years at Oxford College, on Emory’s original campus in Oxford, Georgia.

After the sophomore year, all students complete their undergraduate degree on the Atlanta campus through Emory College, Goizueta Business School or the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

In total, Emory University received 27,982 applications from undergraduate students vying to join the Class of 2022, a 16 percent increase over last year — the third consecutive year of a record-breaking climb in applicants.

Not only was the applicant pool up, the overall number who elected to attend Emory College and Oxford College was larger than expected. At 1,973 students, the Class of 2022 officially marks the university’s largest class on record. 

In fact, student yield was so high that for the first time in recent memory, Emory University did not enroll any students who were waitlisted, says Latting, which has not happened before in his time at Emory.

But beyond the sheer quantity of students, the Class of 2022 is also distinguished by the promise of what they will bring to the campus and the classroom. “We see a true spirit of the liberal arts in the incoming class,” says Kelley Lips, dean of enrollment services at Oxford College.

“They’ve demonstrated interdisciplinary insights signaling they are ready to be challenged in the classroom and make significant contributions to the community. These students embody much of what we take pride in at Oxford College.”

Creating a smooth transition

While orientation leaders on both campuses have spent months preparing to welcome new students to the collegiate experience, staff members across multiple divisions have been preparing the physical campus for the arrival of the Class of 2022. 

From changing residence hall air filters and “lofting” beds to landscaping and painting, from double-checking fire safety measures in every residence hall to planning the traditional first-year Coca-Cola toast, this month marks the culmination of a common goal, as the Emory community comes together to create a fluid transition for incoming students.

The entire Emory Campus Services staff — over 800 employees — strives to make each campus shine by the time students return. 

This year, that checklist has included repainting parking decks, making elevator repairs, freshening exterior grounds, and working with Emory Transportation and Parking Services and campus public safety officials to coordinate traffic patterns for move-in week “so everything runs as smoothly as possible,” says Matthew Early, vice president for campus services at Emory. 

“Over the summer months, we partner with Residence Life and Housing Operations to address cleaning, painting, repairs and maintenance issues — easily hundreds of projects required to get our halls and classrooms ready for the academic year,” Early says. 

Returning students on both campuses will also find progress on new Campus Life Centers. In Atlanta, extensive advances have been made in the construction of the new Campus Life Center, Early notes. With exterior walls almost closed in, work moves forward within the structure — a milestone for the new building, which is slated to open by May 2019.

That means Emory’s newest students will have access to the expansive new facility by the end of their first academic year, Early says.

At the Oxford College campus, work will begin this fall on a new Campus Life Center, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

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