Move-In “Day” looked a little different this year, due to COVID-19. 988 Fords–301 of them first-years–moved into their single dorm rooms over the last three weeks on a staggered schedule that permitted maximum distancing. Another 305 enrolled students started their semester from home, opting to study and live remotely this year, which is possible because all of the nearly 400 courses offered this fall are digitally accessible.
The Class of 2024, whether on campus or remote, began their Haverford careers with the College’s time-honored Customs orientation program. Though some traditional events, such as Dorm Olympics, had to be left off the schedule, the five days were still packed with programming that included social events; introductions to campus standards, resources, services, and the Honor Code; and community-building activities.
“We were able to host many of the events that we’ve done in the past, from a meet and greet with the President–and our new Provost, this year–over Philly pretzels and water ice, to the movie night, scavenger hunt, and quizzo hosted by Fords Against Boredom (FAB),” said Michelle Leao, director of student engagement and leadership and assistant dean of the College. “Most importantly, new students were able to spend time with each other and their Customs teams to learn more about themselves, their peers, and build relationships and connections.”
“We’re proud of the Customs folks, many of whom applied and were interviewed during the most uncertain and scary time in late March and early April,” said Customs Co-Heads Jacob Gaba ’22 and Lía Hermosilla Rojas ’22. “Their commitment and dedication to providing the first years with the Customs experience showed that… Haverford students remain resilient and compassionate towards their fellow students, seeking to create even in this turbulent environment a sense of community.”
Though roughly 35 members of the new class attended Customs remotely, they were invited to most of the same events as their on-campus classmates. Leao and the Customs planning team scheduled all required synchronous programming between 10 a.m. and noon EDT in order to convenience the most students across the most time zones. Though the focus was–as always–on giving new students access to the information and resources they need to know to succeed at Haverford, there was also plenty of time for (masked and distanced) socializing.
“While Customs did look different this year,” said Leao, “[students] were able to spend more time with each other, enjoying outdoor time under the tents and on the different greens, all while building the foundation of their Haverford career.”
The extraordinary members of the Haverford Class of 2024 hail from 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as 19 foreign countries. They were selected from 4,539 applicants. 46.1% of the class identify as people of color including 9% who identify as Black/African American, 13.1% who identify as Latinx, and 23.3% who identify as Asian/Asian American. Additionally, more than a quarter of the class have at least one parent who didn’t graduate college. 30% speak a language other than English at home, 11% are foreign nationals, and 20 members of the Class of 2024 were Questbridge matches.
“The admission process for the Class of 2024, like so much about this year, was in unprecedented territory,” said Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Jess Lord. “This was the first class ever admitted through a Zoom admission committee, the first time we weren’t able to welcome admitted students to campus in April, and, of course, students were faced with navigating so many important choices amidst so much uncertainty. Every year it is a privilege to get to know such amazing students through the admission process, and we always feel immense gratitude for those students who choose to join the Haverford community, but those feelings are especially strong this year! Seeing the Class of 2024 come together was an amazing experience for all of us in admission – and we feel truly inspired by their determination to not only be part of the Haverford community but to play an essential role in sustaining and defining our community at this extraordinary time.”