The newest Fords have arrived! Last week, the Class of 2027 began moving into their first-year dorms — Comfort, Gummere, Jones, or Tritton halls — with suitcases, baskets, bags, and positive spirits in tow. In this bustling campus scene, there were new hellos and emotional goodbyes, but overall, there was a palpable sense of excitement for this new journey.
The Class of 2027 includes 374 individuals who hail from 34 states and 28 countries. Twenty students in the Class of 2027 are Questbridge matches. Eleven percent are the first in their families to attend college, and more than 25 percent are from a family where one or both parents did not attend college. More than 52 percent identify as a person of color — 41.6 percent are domestic students of color — and 31 percent speak a language other than English at home.
Move-in week also marked the start of Customs, Haverford’s signature year-long experience that provides first-year students with a community of support and learning at Haverford. It began last week with the five-day orientation experience prior to the beginning of classes, known colloquially by Fords as Customs Week.
This year’s Customs Week theme was “SWinter,” a celebration of winter in the summer. Throughout the week, first-year students participated in an array of activities to help them explore and adjust to their new setting. There were Arboretum tours, advising sessions, the affinity group fair, honor and social code discussions, escape rooms, scavenger hunts, and more.
New this year, students had expanded access to advising services, self-care resources, and open social dialogues. Each dean met with all of their advisees as cohorts to discuss navigating academic life. Students attended the first Care Fair, a relaxing event with crafts such as make-your-own snowglobes with 3D-printed black squirrels while learning from Counseling and Psychological Services about the importance of prioritizing themselves throughout the year. Vice President for Institutional Equity and Access Nikki Young and Dean of the College John McKnight hosted “Meet Me at the Crossroads: Identity, Justice, and Dialogue at Haverford College,” a workshop laying the foundation for ongoing dialogues about how power and privilege function at Haverford College and beyond.
Customs Week came to an exciting close with a Haverford tradition of residence hall pride: Dorm Olympics. Teams from each residence hall competed in tug of war, Haverford trivia, speed-drawing portraits of President Wendy Raymond, paper airplane flying, sponge races, and a talent show. At the end of the day, Team “Gum”mere, made up of students from half of Gummere Hall, emerged victorious.
Customs is an enormous undertaking and is the culmination of months of planning led by students on the Customs Committee and Director of Student Engagement & New Student Programs Jodi Mulhall. Other Haverford organizations such as Chesick Scholars, the Office of International Students Support, pre-season Athletics, and the Pre-Customs Outdoor Program (PCOP) also provided orientation events and support to ease the transition for new Fords.
The John P. Chesick Scholars Program provides a welcoming community and a suite of workshops, seminars, and experiences specifically designed for first-generation college students and/or students who come from low-income (FLI) backgrounds. New Chesick Scholars had the option to participate in Horizons, a program that gives students a head start on the transition to college life, and connect with FLI classmates and FLI Student Leaders on campus prior to Customs Week. Horizons included a Chesick Induction Ceremony and Family Send-off and a slate of welcoming activities.
International Students Orientation
With new Fords arriving from Bahrain to Zimbabwe, the Office of International Student Support held International Student Orientation (ISO) to ensure the college’s international students meet health requirements (such as testing and vaccinations), ease into life in the U.S., and address the unique needs of a diverse student body. ISO activities included intros to health services, the writing center, and Bryn Mawr College, as well as campus tours, shopping trips, and trivia. Students also had time to take care of practical needs like learning how to open a bank account, get a SIM card, and acquire the necessary technology to support their success at Haverford.
Welcome to Haverford, Class of 2027!
For a full gallery of photos from Customs Week events, please click here.