Conn selects Les Wong as interim president
See the full gallery of images from Arrival Day.
As they arrived on campus Wednesday, the 655 newest Connecticut College students were greeted by cheering student leaders, colorful signs and a campus ready to welcome the largest herd of new Camels in Conn’s 111-year history.
“What a momentous day,” President Katherine Bergeron told the new students and their families at a welcome assembly on Conn’s expansive Tempel Green.
“It is such a joy for me to stand here today and add my voice to the chorus celebrating the 20 transfer students and the 635 students who make up one of the most diverse and talented and by far the largest incoming Class in the history of Connecticut College, the Class of 2026.
“In choosing Connecticut College, I truly believe you have made one of the best decisions you could have made for your future,” she continued.
“Why do I say this? Because I know that you will find no staff anywhere more dedicated to your ongoing safety and wellbeing. You will find no student body anywhere more invested in helping you connect to this special community. And you will find no faculty anywhere more committed to your intellectual, social, professional and ethical development.”
Admitted from the largest applicant pool in the College’s history, the newest Camels were drawn to Conn’s innovative curriculum, extensive career preparation, global focus, commitment to full participation, tradition of environmental stewardship and ample opportunities for collaboration with faculty. Members of this impressive group come from 36 states and 23 countries, including Bangladesh, China, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay and Vietnam. Eighty-two members of the incoming class are the first in their families to go to college, while 57 are at least the second members of their families to attend Conn.
The Class of 2026 is also among the most diverse in the College’s history; 24% are domestic students of color and 5% are international students.
At the welcome event, Hannah Gonzalez ’23, president of Conn’s Student Government Association, encouraged the new students to embrace not only the many opportunities they will have to learn and grow, but also the people they will meet along the way.
“When I look back on my fondest memories from the beginning of my college career, I remember my favorite classes and extracurricular activities, but most importantly, I remember the Camels who made my journey at Conn complete,” she said.
“My favorite aspect of Connecticut College is its community—in our home of many Camels, we are truly one herd.”
Dean of the College Erika Smith Erika Smith told the students that like many of them, she was drawn to Conn by Connections, which she called “an exemplar of integrative education.” She invited the students to experience the culmination of seniors’ four-years of integrative learning at the fourth annual All-College Symposium in November.
“I expect you will leave that experience intrigued, inspired and determined to find your own path, beginning on the journey to find the question that lights up your intellect,” she said.
“We are so excited to have you here, and can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’ll do.”
Over the next several days, the new students will learn more about Connections, meet with their team of advisers, register for classes, and get to know each other and the faculty and staff of the College. The extended “Welcome Weekend” will culminate Monday, Aug. 29, with Convocation, a celebration of the opening of the academic year. Rodmon King, Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, will deliver the keynote address, “The Choice is Yours.”