With the theme “Senators in Session,” Davis & Elkins College welcomed new and returning students to campus for the 2021 fall semester and a weekend filled with activities. While classes officially began on Monday, registration remains open through Thursday, Aug. 19 for students who would still like to enroll.

The incoming class is made up of students from 30 counties throughout West Virginia, 29 states across the nation and 20 countries around the world.

“Our check-in process went smoothly with all offices assisting students by providing the personalized service we’re known for,” said Dean of Students Kate Garlick. “The students are very excited to be here and there’s been a lot of high energy across campus. We’re very happy to welcome our new students and connect with returning students.”

Campus was busy throughout the weekend as students moved into residence halls that will serve as their homes away from home for the academic year. Orientation and the traditional Matriculation Convocation for those new to Davis & Elkins set the pace for students to begin the next chapter in their lives.

Davis & Elkins College President Chris A. Wood addressed the students telling them they are about to build lifelong friendships, learn new and exciting things, and embark on the exploration of a career that will enable them to fulfill their purpose in life.

“Your adventure officially begins now,” he said. “Make the most of your time on campus. Step out of your comfort zone and experience what Davis & Elkins College is all about.”

Coordinator of the President’s Initiative on Community and Immersive Learning Missy McCollam echoed Wood’s advice, emphasizing to students that they will reap rewards of a positive experience when they push their way through any discomfort.

“Try to think of your life as a comedy instead of a tragedy,” McCollam explained. “Think of this time of your life as a piece of clay that you can mold into what you want it to be.”

Students also heard from First Lady and Elkins-Randolph County Chamber Executive Director Lisa Wood, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Rob Phillips and J.P. Miller, a gospel singer and motivational speaker.

Miller encouraged the students to make the most of their time in college, create friendships and discover what they truly love.

New and old friendships took hold as students participated in team building activities, first-year seminar introductions and games and events including trivia night, an inflatable playground on Myles Plaza and a barbecue picnic. Garlick says dozens of fun activities for students are planned throughout the semester including bingo and an outdoor foam dance party. At the end of the month, the College will again partner with Elkins Main Street for D&E Night on the Town.

“It’s a great event to get the students out in the Elkins community and experience all the downtown has to offer,” Garlick said.

The fall semester, with all in-person classes, runs through mid-December with a fall break and Thanksgiving break scheduled.

Davis & Elkins College offers 45 degree programs and 36 minors, plus an Interdisciplinary Studies program that customizes a curriculum. Students graduating from a West Virginia high school, whether public, private or home school, may be eligible to receive a Highlands Scholarship. For information, email admissions@dewv.edu or call 304-637-1230.

Matriculation Procession

Davis & Elkins College administrators, faculty, trustees and special guest speakers cheer on members of the 2021 fall entering class as they enter Myles Center for the Arts to participate in the Matriculation Convocation. The traditional ceremony serves as the official welcome to first-year students.