Wesleyan Welcomes 781 Students on Arrival Day (with video and photo gallery)


On Aug. 28, 781 members of the Class of 2023—along with their families—flocked to campus for Arrival Day. Hauling armfuls of personal belongings and comforts from home, students settled into their new home-away-from-home amid fond (and a few teary) farewells.

President Michael Roth ’78 provided a personal welcome, helping carry students’ belongings into residence halls and offering warm greetings to the new members of the Wesleyan family. Athletic teams also helped carry the load, hoisting plastic tubs of cold-weather clothing and draped bedding over their shoulders.

Clark Hall volunteers had organized their sidewalk space, chalking it into squares labeled with room numbers to keep belongings all in one place. Inside the new room, families helped their first-year students to settle in and brand-new roommates found common ground and made plans for their space. Wesleyan’s mascot, a bright red Cardinal, fluttered about to add to the spirit of the day.

A total of 13,358 individuals applied for a spot in the Class of 2023, the most in Wesleyan history. Of those, Wesleyan admitted 2,187 and 781 matriculated. An additional 52 transfer students enrolled this fall.

Below are some stats about the Class of 2023:

  • 45% men and 55% women
  • 52% attended public high schools
  • A record-breaking 18% are from outside the USA
  • 44% are students of color (including international)
  • 24% identify as Asian/Asian American
  • 14% are international students (view story)
  • 8% are the children of Wesleyan alumni
  • 15% are among the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college
  • 48% are receiving financial aid
  • 80% have already studied a foreign language
  • 84% graduated in the top 20% of their high school class
  • English, biology, economics, film, and psychology are the top projected majors (identical to the Class of 2021 and 2022).

“The range of talents, cultures, and family backgrounds in this group is exceptional, even by Wesleyan’s high expectations,” said Nancy Meislahn, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid.

During New Student Orientation, the first-year students are participating in small group sessions led by orientation leaders; an academic forum; a “We Speak We Stand” program focused on the prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence; stargazing at the Van Vleck Observatory; a “Middletownopoly” walking tour; an a capella concert; a presentation of autobiographical monologues written by current students; an open mic night; a square dance; religious group gatherings; and a Silent Disco at Olin Library. Orientation will conclude Friday with the annual Common Moment event that brings new students together in movement.

And as part of Wesleyan’s First Year Matters program, students will also attend a lecture and discussion with Kennedy Odede ’12, co-author (with his wife, Jessica Posner ’09) of this year’s common read Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum.

Photos of Arrival Day are below and on this Wesleyan Flickr album. (Photos by Tom Dzimian. Cynthia Rockwell and Katie Aberbach assisted with this article)

Allie Godwin ’23 of New York City prepares to unload the car with her parents, Pamela and Kenneth.

Transfer student Robert Denegre ’22 of Bar Harbor, Maine, and his mother, Terry Hayamizu, received Arrival Day assistance from Wesleyan President Michael Roth. Robert’s father, James Michael Denegre, earned a PhD from Wesleyan in 1992.

Josh DuBeau ’23 of Fitchburg, Wis., moved into his Foss residence with the help of his parents, Patricia and Guy DuBeau.

Serim Jin '23 of Portland, Ore. and Caitlin Goldberg '23 of Chicago, Ill. are roommates and members of the women's tennis team. "When I visited campus I just knew Wesleyan was for me," Jin said. “I love the vibe of the whole campus.” Jin is leaning toward studying economics. Goldberg is considering a major in economics or computer science. “When I first visited Wes, it was beautiful and I could see myself studying here.”

Serim Jin ’23 of Portland, Ore., and Caitlin Goldberg ’23 of Chicago, Ill., are roommates and members of the women’s tennis team. “When I visited campus I just knew Wesleyan was for me,” Serim said. “I love the vibe of the whole campus.” Serim is leaning toward studying economics. Caitlin is considering a major in economics or computer science. “When I first visited Wes, it was beautiful and I could see myself studying here,” she said.

Roommates Annika Shiffer-Delegard ’23 (black shirt) of Minneapolis, Minn., and Talia Eligator ’23 of Chicago, Ill., are sharing a room in Clark Hall. Annika’s parents, Kirsten Delegard ’90 and James Shiffer ’89, met while working on the Argus as undergraduates. Annika is considering a major in English and environmental studies, but hasn’t ruled out the College of Letters as a possibility. Talia was joined by her parents, Laura Miller Eligator and Eric Eligator.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth greeted members of the Class of 2023 and their families on Arrival Day, Aug. 28. President Roth and several student-athletes helped the new students move their belongings into their new residence halls.

President Roth and several student-athletes helped the new students move their belongings into their new residence halls.

Pictured in the center, Dakota Jones ’23 of Brooklyn, N.Y., received moving-in assistance from his parents, Randy Jones and Micah Morton, and his 9-year-old sister Riley. Dakota is planning to take classes in the visual arts and Japanese as a language.

Anna Fehr ’23 of Oakland, Calif., decorates her new room in Clark Hall.

Karla Sanford ’23 of Atlanta, Ga., first visited Wesleyan when she was in ninth grade and “loved it. I’ve had [Wesleyan] in my mind ever since.” Her mother, Segena Ponder, helped her move in. Karla hopes to major in film.

0148 Sophia Zimmer, of LA Her mom, Marisa Zimmer, came to help her move in.

Sophia Zimmer ’23 of Los Angeles, Calif., received Arrival Day assistance from her mother, Marisa Zimmer. Her new dorm room is located in Foss.

Liam Murray, of East Hampton, NY (roommate of Harrison) His parents, Kate Zahorsky and Stephen Murray, came to help him move in.

Liam Murray ’23 of East Hampton, N.Y., moved into his new student residence with help from his parents, Kate Zahorsky and Stephen Murray.

Harrison Haft, of NYC His mom, Simone, came to help him move in. He wants to study film. Move-in day “has been really nice. This room is nicer than I expected.”

Liam’s roommate, Harrison Haft ’23 of New York City, was assisted by his mother, Simone. “Move-in day has been good,” he said. “This room is nicer than I expected.” Harrison is planning to study film.

0134 Hannah Gonsher photographed with parents in front of Clark Hall sign (Cynthia might have more details)

Hannah Goncher ’23 stands outside her new residence hall with her parents, Lilla Smith and Dale Goncher, from Brooklyn, N.Y. “When I stepped on campus, I felt welcome here,” Hannah said. Undecided about her major course of study, she is looking forward to art studio involvement, particularly painting.

Roommates Madison Szabo ’23 of Middletown, N.J., and Anna Rose Turner ’23 of Charlotte, N.C., are both student-athletes. Madison plays center on the women’s basketball team and Anna Rose is a defender on the women’s field hockey team. “I came to Wesleyan for the sense of community. . . . When I met the girls on the team, everyone was very welcoming and I felt right at home,” said Madison, who is interested in studying government and Spanish. “I also came to Wes for the stellar academics. “I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.” Anna Rose is interested in studying government and English and moved in on Aug. 26 due to the field hockey preseason schedule.

 Olufunke Sowole ’23 was there with her brother, Ayomide Sowole, who was helping her move in. The family is from Rockaway; Ayomide attends college in upstate New York and commented that his sister’s move here gave the family a new town to know and explore. Olufunke was attracted to Wesleyan for the community commitment to social justice, as well as the opportunity to do science research as an undergraduate, while still exploring her academic interests.

At left, Olufunke Sowole ’23 was accompanied by her brother, Ayomide Sowole, who was helping her move in. The family is from Rockaway, N.Y.; Ayomide attends college in upstate New York and commented that his sister’s move here gave the family a new town to know and explore. Olufunke was attracted to Wesleyan for the community commitment to social justice, as well as the opportunity to do science research as an undergraduate, while still exploring her academic interests.

At left, Emma Winslow Horwitz '23 from Lexington, Mass poses with her mother Aiden, President Roth, and her father Russell. Horwitz is the great-granddaughter of Dick Winslow '40, Hon'10, P'71, GP'23. Winslow was the John Spencer Camp Professor of Music emeritus who oversaw the establishment of Wesleyan University’s renowned program in world music. The university has since established the Richard K. Winslow Chair in Music.

At left, Emma Winslow Horwitz ’23 from Lexington, Mass., poses with her mother, Aiden; President Roth; and her father, Russell. Emma is the great-granddaughter of Dick Winslow ’40, Hon. ’10, P’71. Winslow joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1949 and was the John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Emeritus who oversaw the establishment of Wesleyan University’s renowned program in world music. The University has since established the Richard K. Winslow Chair in Music.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks to Joline Cappo '23, who hails from Shanghai. Cappo arrived with international students earlier in the week. She notes that while she applied to Wesleyan thinking she’d be a psychology major, she’s undecided and looking forward to exploring. “I can experiment,” she said.

President Michael Roth speaks to Joline Cappo ’23, who hails from Shanghai. Joline arrived with international students earlier in the week. She notes that while she applied to Wesleyan thinking she’d be a psychology major, she’s undecided and looking forward to exploring. “I can experiment,” she said.

Welcome to Wes, Class of 2023!