Updated as of 11:10 a.m. on Aug. 18 to include more photos in the photo gallery.
Elon University celebrates its annual tradition of welcoming the newest class of freshmen to campus amid one of the hottest summers on record.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this July marked the hottest in its 174-year record.
The National Weather Service reports that the town of Elon will experience a high of 87 degrees Fahrenheit with roughly 80% humidity on Aug. 18 — Move-In Day. Temperatures are predicted to stay in the mid to high 80s on Saturday, Aug. 19 for the New Student Convocation, but rise as much as 95 degrees by Monday, Aug. 20.
University spokesperson Owen Covington said move-in will proceed as scheduled rain or shine, with the exception of severe thunderstorms or other forms of weather that would require staff and students to seek shelter for safety.
“Of course, we're not going to put anyone in danger with severe weather moving through the area,” Covington said.
Incoming education fellow Jackson Laing had an early move-in shift into Colonnades Neighborhood and said he was not yet stressed, overwhelmed, or overheated.
“Everyone is in the same boat for the next two weeks,” Laing said.
Eric Biebel, a plumber assigned to float around campus as needed throughout the day, was positioned at East Neighborhood at 8 a.m. when the first batch of the class of 2027 began arriving. He said though it is supposed to be warm, Elon has dealt with hotter days.
“We’ve had hotter in the past,” Biebel said. “It’s not supposed to be in the 90s today, so it should be alright.”
Despite the weather, juniors and peer educators Claire Cohen and Isabella DeLuso said they are both excited and looking forward to the day.
“I'm really excited because all of the students are just very excited to see their dorm and their parents are full of energy,” Cohen said. “I'll have a smile on my face. I'm excited. I love today.”
DeLuso said she is grateful to be able to help with Move-In Day because seeing the incoming freshmen reminds her of when she first started her college career.
“I feel like a lot of us forget why we came here in the first place and how exciting it was for us in the beginning,” DeLuso said. “It's really good to get a refresher on how we felt when we first got here.”
Junior resident assistant Kenley Bidwell has lived in Hook, Barney and Brannock her entire time at Elon and was stationed in Historic Neighborhood to welcome the first batch of freshmen moving into HBB.
Bidwell said residence halls are different from other buildings on campus because of the suite style.
“HBB is a unique experience because it's a suite style dorm, so people are a lot closer together,” Bidwell said. “It’s a very tight community.”
Likewise, freshman Paul Nunno said he is most excited for the community at Elon.
“Everyone works together,” Nunno said. “Everyone's a part of something bigger.”
Nunno, who is moving into Hook within Historic Neighborhood, said he is looking forward to the academic support from Elon University faculty and staff.
“Everyone's here to do something. The school is willing to help you to do anything you want,” Nunno said. “They want to see you as a student succeed and I really like that.”
Matt McGowan, father of incoming freshman Neve McGowan, said he is proud to see his oldest daughter start her journey at Elon. Matt helped his daughter move into East Neighborhood.
“I think I've been sort of waiting for the storm to hit and it hasn't,” Matt said. “I'm sure it will on the ride home, but I am overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and feelings of excitement.”
Looking at the class of 2027, Elon reports that they are entering with a collective GPA of 4.08. Moreover, 20% of the class identify as either African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaska Native or multiracial; whereas 10% identify as first-generation students, 12% as members of the LGBTQIA community and 7% as international students. Compared to the class of 2026, the number of ALANAM, LGBTQIA and international students increased by about 1% across the board in this year’s freshmen class.
The incoming students also originate from 43 states and 15 countries. Among the new students are 87 transfer students, nearly 400 early decision students, 40 engineering students, 50 students entering Elon’s four-year nursing program and 21 students joining the 16-month accelerated nursing program. There are 1,688 members of the class of 2027 in total.
In a previous interview with Elon News Network, university President Connie Book addressed the class of 2027 directly.
“Enjoy the last few days and be patient with yourself,” Book said. “Take some risks, say hello to people, walk with friends to the cafeteria. It's going to be really exciting, but we know it's also really bumpy. But we're here to support you as you enter into college.”