Students dressed in red cheer and clap

Welcome to Haverford!

The Class of 2026 began their transition to college life with Customs, a unique orientation program that serves as a foundation for learning to live in community with one another at Haverford.

After moving into their first-year dorms—Comfort, Gummere, Jones, or Tritton Halls—with help from Customs people and some athletic teams, who lugged all those minifridges and laundry baskets up the stairs, and saying goodbye to family and friends who helped get them here, the newest Fords embarked upon Customs. Haverford College’s unique first-year experience begins with a five-day orientation ahead of the start of classes and continues all year long to provide new students with a community of support and learning throughout their first year.

Those first five days, known around campus by the misnomer “Customs Week,” include presentations and discussions on community living, the Honor Code, campus safety, the “hidden curriculum,” healthy relationships, consent, and academic integrity, as well as fairs that introduce the new students to the academic, extracurricular, and support services and programs on campus. This year, the antiracism session was led by scholar-activist and author (and local Philly native) Mark Lamont Hill, who also joined the Chesick Scholars for lunch.

There was also plenty of time for fun. There were tours of campus and nearby Ardmore. There was late-night donuts with President Wendy Raymond. In addition to the traditional SupaFun dance and hypnotist performance, Customs Week also included, for the first time, an opportunity for students to make a “hall film”—a short video that showcases each hall’s creativity and personality as a way to help the rest of the first-year class to get to know them. And, of course, there was Dorm Olympics.

Haverford’s annual tradition of residence hall pride and student talent that pits dorm against dorm in a camp-color-war-style competition, found students competing in tug of war, Haverford trivia, presidential-portrait speed-drawing, balloon caterpillar races, paper airplane flying, sponge races, and a talent show. When the dust had settled, Jones Hall was declared the winner.

The 363 individuals who collectively make up the Class of 2026 hail from 37 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and 26 foreign countries. 16 percent comes from outside the U.S. (from Bangladesh to Zimbabwe). Almost 55 percent identify as a person of color—43.7 percent are domestic students of color—and almost 25 percent come from a family where one or both parents did not attend college. 31 percent speak a language other than English at home, and 20 of them are Questbridge-match students.

The Class of 2026 is the most selective and diverse in the College’s history, and they are a welcome addition to the campus community.

Photos by Dan Z. Johnson, Patrick Montero, Paola Nogueras, and Keyla Ramirez ’25.