Photos: Welcome Week 2023

August 25, 2023

By Jessica Firpi ’11

Welcome Week 2023 collage of images
Photo by Scott Cook.

The 2023-24 academic year has officially begun. From move-in to SPARC Day, relive the best moments from Welcome Week.

Last week, the campus was abuzz with the much-anticipated arrival of students—the largest incoming class in the College’s history—and the lineup of welcome activities included everything from meet-and-greet events and trivia nights to SPARC Day and the beloved tradition of Candlewish. As we kick off this new semester, here are a few of our favorite moments from Welcome Week 2023.

First-year students during Welcome Week
Photo by Scott Cook.
Rollins peer mentors during orientation with Rollins balloons behind
Photo by Scott Cook.
Rollins move-in activities
Photo by Scott Cook.
Rollins Wellness Center hosting a Nine Dimensions of Wellness tent
Photo by Scott Cook.

Rollins is committed to the health and well-being of our community. The Rollins Wellness Center hosted a Nine Dimensions of Wellness tent out on Mills Lawn for students to learn about the many ways they can take care of themselves and each other (bonus takeaway: fun swag).

President Grant Cornwell and his wife, Peg, posing with parents
Photo by Scott Cook.

President Grant Cornwell and his wife, Peg, welcomed new parents and families into the Rollins community with a happy hour reception at Rice Family Pavilion.

Jana Mathews’ Only in Florida RCC course
Photo by Scott Cook.

It was all smiles as students met their respective Rollins College Conference (RCC) professors for the first time. During this initial class meeting, students in English professor Jana Mathews’ Only in Florida RCC course learned from their faculty mentor about the academic advising process and received an introduction to Rollins’ innovative, interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum.

First-year student meeting with a peer mentor
Photo by Scott Cook.

As part of the RCC class, students also met with their peer mentors—second-, third-, and fourth-year Tars who are equipped to ease the transition to college life by offering advice on class selection, how to get involved in activities and organizations on campus, and the best ways to explore Winter Park and Orlando.

Welcome Week photo booth
Photo by Scott Cook.

Students snapped fun photos during the Rollins Gateway event introducing first-years to our signature liberal arts education in which students develop essential skills like problem solving and critical thinking; seize myriad opportunities to apply what they’re learning in real-world settings; and receive meaningful guidance and mentorship from faculty, peers, staff, and alumni—all of which prepares them for a meaningful life and productive career.

Students attending a mixer event during Welcome Week
Photo by Scott Cook.

With open mic nights, karaoke, games, trivia, and a movie screening, there were plenty of opportunities to mingle and meet new friends.

Student serving during Rollins annual SPARC Day
Photo by Scott Cook.

Facilitated by the Center for Leadership & Community Engagement, this year’s SPARC Day continued the tradition of service for all incoming first-year and transfer students. As part of the College’s 18th annual day of service, more than 900 students, faculty, and staff provided service to 25 local nonprofits and community organizations, including 4Roots Farm, the Ronald McDonald House, Boys & Girls Club of Eatonville, New Hope for Kids, and many more.

Students in Lakeside Neighborhood partaking in glow-in-the-dark yoga
Photo by Scott Cook.

For the wellness-minded student, the week even included a glow-in-the-dark yoga class hosted in Lakeside Neighborhood’s movement studio.

Students enjoying a silent disco
Photo by Scott Cook.

Students lit up Rice Family Pavilion as they danced in a silent disco.

Candlelight tradition at Rollins Welcome Week 2023
Photo by Scott Cook.

To cap off a whirlwind week, first-years gathered to take part in Candlewish, a Rollins tradition where students reflect on what they hope for during their time at Rollins. At the start of each fall semester, each student is given a candle, which is raised to symbolize the power of community, the pursuit of knowledge, and the Rollins motto “Fiat Lux,” meaning “Let there be light.”

Rollins College students enjoying lunch by the Lakeside pool.

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