Elmira, NY (08/25/2022) — A small army of orientation leaders, student-athletes, coaches, staff, and more helped greet the Ascendant Class of 2026 to the campus Thursday during the annual Move-In Day. A logistical feat that involves everyone unloading cars and trucks and climbing stairs while families begin the process of saying goodbye.

The sun shone brightly and everyone buzzed with excitement as families unpacked, visited places on campus, and then attended the President's Welcome Ceremony on Cowles Lawn.

For Carter Seeberger '26 of Clifton Park, New York and his mother Patty Seeberger the day moved smoothly.

"I was very impressed from the moment we pulled into the parking lot to the beanie ceremony, it was really well organized," said Patty.

Both Carter and his mother had mixed feelings as they were about to part.

"I'm excited to get going," said Carter.

"I'm going to miss him but I'm excited for him," said Patty.

These are the feelings that President Charles Lindsay addressed during his welcome remarks.

"I'm sure you're looking forward to college with a combination of excitement and anxiety," he said. "Don't worry though, we got this! Members of the EC community stand ready to support students in the transition to college and throughout their undergraduate years and beyond."

This year's first-year students come from 22 states and territories and 16 countries. Patrick Gillette, Director of Admissions provided some fun facts about the incoming group:

    Amani Wandolo '26 is the student who traveled the furthest to join the Class, crossing 7,480 miles from Nairobi, Kenya. Trisha Mann '26 traveled 3,208 miles from her home in Wasilla, Alaska, the farthest U.S. location. Paul Tregoning '26 came from American Canyon, California, the furthest distance in the Continental U.S. Jacob Malone '26 only trekked 0.9 miles from West First Street in Elmira, the shortest distance for the Class. Eight students are following in the footsteps of family members who attended EC and one has a sibling currently attending. Some of the other countries students traveled from include Argentina, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mongolia, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, and Trinidad and Tobago. Some of the states represented include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Speaking at the President's Welcome was alumnus Dr. Daniel Bastardo-Blanco 12, Global Liaison Specialist with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Bastardo-Blanco remembered his first day and the energy of realizing a dream he hadn't known was possible as a youth in Venezuela. He encouraged the Ascendant Class to take advantage of the opportunities at Elmira College because "challenges are often opportunities in disguise."

`My advice to you is to create opportunities for yourself in these next four years by staying curious, taking risks, and embracing everything," he said.

Similar sentiments were shared by the Class' Patron Saint, Ytzel Flores Cristiansen, Assistant Director of Campus Engagement. She told them to "be bold" and most importantly to "be you."

She and the academic Patron Saint, Dr. Corey Stilts, Associate Professor of Chemistry, will act as advisors for the Class during their four years at Elmira College.

As is tradition, the ceremonies ended with the 'Elmira Hug,' and then parents were encouraged not to linger so that students could immerse themselves fully into campus life.

For the Kehoes of Falmouth, Massachusetts, after giving their daughter Merrick Kehoe '26 an 'Elmira Hug,' it was the EC welcoming spirit that made them feel safe to leave her as they set off on their long journey home.

"I look at this school as a nurturing place and I like that it is in a small community," said Amy Kehoe.

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