Aug. 9, 2012

First wave of undergraduate students arrive on campus for Fall 2012 orientation.

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The Old College Hall bell rang through the afternoon, as the first wave of 2012-13 freshmen arrived on campus Thursday.

Part of their orientation included the “Sign, Shake and Ring” tradition, in which they sign the register of Pacific University students, shake the hand of the University president and ring the bell to mark their entry into Pacific. (They’ll do it all again when they graduate.)

Mostly football players, moving in early to kick off a practice schedule that leads to a first home game Aug. 30, the new students spent the day touring with their families, lugging boxes to their residence hall rooms and participating in a series of orientation activities to help them get to know the campus and one another.

They’re only the first group to arrive, though. Next week, other fall athletes will show up, and the rest of the College of Arts & Sciences undergraduate student body arrives the week of Aug. 23, ready to start classes Aug. 27.

Meanwhile, several College of Health Professions programs kicked off earlier this week in Hillsboro, and others begin throughout this month. A cohort of College of Education students working to earn their master’s of arts in teaching while working in the Woodburn School District have been studying since July in preparation to get into middle and high school classrooms this fall.

It’s a big group heading to Pacific’s campuses this fall. Undergraduate enrollment is, at early reports, up by about 100 students over last year, and more than 100 students are transferring into Pacific from other colleges and universities this fall. The new speech-language pathology master’s program in the College of Education is full, as is the College of Health Professions’ new audiology doctorate program.

The weather may be warm, but summer—as in break—is on its way out. Welcome to Fall 2012, and welcome to our new and returning students!