Wesleyan Welcomes Class of 2020 on Arrival Day (with photos and video)


Arrival Day at Wesleyan University, Aug. 31, 2016. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Several Wesleyan student athletes, upperclassmen and Wesleyan staff and faculty helped new students and families move belongings on Arrival Day. Aug. 31.

Wesleyan welcomed more than 840 new, transfer, international and exchange students and their families to the Wesleyan community on Aug. 31.

Nick Ticali ’20, center, gets move-in assistance from his father Vinny and his sister Allana, who just graduated from Colgate University. The Ticali family is from Long Island, NY. Nick is excited about Wesleyan’s interdisciplinary, cross-curriculum majors. He is thinking about studying biology and theater. Nick played varsity soccer in high school and may play club soccer here at Wesleyan.

Nick Ticali ’20, center, gets move-in assistance from his father Vinny and his sister Allana on Arrival Day.

Nick Ticali ’20 left home in Long Island, N.Y. at 5:30 a.m. to make it to Wesleyan early. His sister, Allana, and father, Vinny, helped Nick move his belongings into his West College student residence.

“I’m really excited about Wesleyan’s interdisciplinary, cross-curriculum majors, because I want to study biology and theater,” he said. Nick played varsity soccer in high school and may play club soccer at Wesleyan.

Nancy Auerbach helped her daughter Dalia ’20 move to her room in Bennet Hall on Arrival Day. The Auerbach family is from Claremont, Calif. Dalia, who has relatives in Boston, looked forward to attending college on the East Coast. “I have a lot of energy and I love doing things, so I am excited for all the activities Wesleyan has to offer,” Dalia said.

Mary McAllister ’20 of Westchester, N.Y., received Arrival Day help from her parents Maureen and Don. “I chose Wesleyan for its diversity, the open curriculum, and openness of thought,” Mary said.

William Wu ’20, from Sammamish, Wash. and his mother, Celia, spent the morning unpacking and decorating William’s new room in Bennet Hall.  “I really like campus and the general atmosphere,” William said. He’s considering a major in philosophy.

Once students settled into their new home-away-from-home, they attended two workshops on Student Life at Wesleyan and Academic Support in the First Year. Parents and families attended a panel presentation by Wesleyan President Michael Roth, Mike Whaley, vice president for student affairs, and Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid, who offered an insight to the Class of 2020.

Watch President Roth’s remarks in the video below:


“We literally hand-picked those who join us today,” Meislahn said. “They’re selected from some of the toughest competition. We had more applications for this class than ever before.”

Cassie Morales ’20 from Oceanport, NJ, Malika Ilboudo ’20 from the Bronx, and Shiri Benmoshe ’20 from Manhattan begin unpacking and rearranging furniture with help from their families.

Cassie Morales ’20 from Oceanport, N.J., Malika Ilboudo ’20 from Bronx, N.Y. and Shiri Benmoshe ’20 from Manhattan, N.Y. begin unpacking and rearranging furniture with help from their families.

That’s 12,030 applications to be exact. Of those who applied, 2,129 were admitted (17.7 percent) and 782 applicants matriculated.

“We’ve assembled a rare gem of class, a remarkably engaged and talented group—the next Wesleyan generation who are committed to making a difference wherever in the world they are, here on campus and beyond the university,” Meislahn said.

The Class of 2020:

  • 46 percent are male, 54 percent are female
  • 13 percent are international students (the most international class in Wesleyan’s history)
  • 39 percent are students of color (including international)
  • 15 percent are the first generation in family to attend a four-year college
  • More than 125 students reside outside the U.S.
  • 18 percent speak English as a second language
  • 16 percent have a Wesleyan alumni/student relative
  • 43 percent are receiving need-based financial aid.
  • 10 students are Posse Veteran Scholars
  • Economics, biology and psychology are the three top projected majors

Members of the Class of 2020 also have interned at Johns Hopkins University and at The Daily Show; designed an e-reader for blind students; produced a TED talk; started a non-profit to support mothers in Africa; and participated in ethnomusicology fieldwork in Bali. One wrote a musical about Henry Clay.

Photos of Arrival Day are below. View the complete Arrival Day photo gallery on Wesleyan Flickr or Wesleyan Facebook. View photos of Wesleyan’s international students here.

William Wu ’20, from Sammamish, Wash. and his mother, Celia, spent the morning unpacking and decorating William's new room in Bennet Hall. “I really like campus and the general atmosphere,” William said. He’s considering a major in philosophy.

William Wu ’20, from Sammamish, Wash. and his mother, Celia, spent the morning unpacking and decorating William’s new room in Bennet Hall.

Lily Davis ’20, center, from Portland, Ore., gets move-in help from her mother Gia Pitillo and grandmother Elizabeth Pitillo. Truly a special moment to see three generations on Arrival Day.

Lily Davis ’20, center, from Portland, Ore., received move-in assistance from her mother, Gia Pitillo, and grandmother, Elizabeth Pitillo.

Nancy Auerbach helped her daughter Dalia ’20 move to campus on Arrival Day. The Auerbach family is from Claremont, Calif. Dalia always knew she would end up on the East Coast for college and is excited for all the activities Wesleyan has to offer.

Nancy Auerbach helped her daughter Dalia ’20 move to campus on Arrival Day. The Auerbach family is from Claremont, Calif. Dalia always knew she would end up on the East Coast for college and is excited for all the activities Wesleyan has to offer.

ennifer Luong ’20 of Newnan, Ga., moved into her dorm with help from her parents Manh and Nu. Jennifer, who is roommates with Mary McAllister ’20, may major in science, but is still undecided. She came to Wesleyan for the open curriculum and the connections one can make in a small community.

Jennifer Luong ’20 of Newnan, Ga., center, moved into her dorm with help from her parents Manh and Nu. Jennifer, who is roommates with Mary McAllister ’20, may major in science, but is still undecided. She came to Wesleyan for the open curriculum and the connections one can make in a small community.

Mary McAllister ’20 of Westchester, NY, received Arrival Day help from parents Maureen and Don. Mary chose Wesleyan for its diversity, the open curriculum, and openness of thought.

Mary McAllister ’20 of Westchester, NY, received Arrival Day help from parents Maureen and Don.

Parents Jie Zhou and Yewei Liu helped their son Kevin Liu ’20 move to campus for Arrival Day. Kevins is from Elliot City, MD.

Parents Jie Zhou and Yewei Liu helped their son Kevin Liu ’20 move to campus for Arrival Day. The family is from Elliot City, M.D.

Several Wesleyan student athletes, upperclassmen and Wesleyan staff and faculty helped new students move their belongings on Arrival Day. Aug. 31.

Several Wesleyan student athletes helped new students move their belongings. (Photos by Olivia Drake and John Van Vlack)

(Cynthia Rockwell contributed to this article.)