On Monday, August 23, Occidental College welcomed the Class of 2025 as first-year and transfer students moved into their residence halls in an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.

O-Team Orientation leaders and Oxy staff were stationed around campus to guide and answer questions for the newest members of the Oxy community. President Harry J. Elam, Jr. was also on hand to welcome students and their families personally. 

After the initial check-in at the Johnson Student Center Quad, students received a map and instructions for getting to their residence halls and meeting their RAs. Later, students and families had the opportunity to take a campus tour and visit the Academic Commons.

At 4 p.m., students gathered at Remsen Bird Hillside Theater for the Welcome to Oxy Community Event. Welcome to Oxy is a longstanding Orientation tradition, intended to welcome students and their families to campus in the same location in which Commencement will be held four years later. The speakers were President Elam, Dean Wendy Sternberg, Dean Rob Flot, and new Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC) president Ellie Findell. The final speaker was Director of Choral and Vocal Activities Desiree LaVertu, who shared a bit of history on the alma mater and Io Triumphe and encouraging some crowd involvement, before leading the Glee Club in both selections.

President Elam emphasized the historic importance of the moment.

“You are entering Occidental at a pivotal moment in time, a historic moment made keener and more poignant by the knowledge that we stand on the precipice of certain change and unprecedented national and global challenges,” he said. “It is a time when higher education itself is both coveted and contested. Consequently, this is a time that amplifies all the more what it means to be at Occidental.”

The campus has a 98% vaccination rate and masking and other health and safety protocols were in place throughout the day.

Take a look at our photos and video from the day's activities!