Recent Press and Archives

Friday, August 27, 2010

Davis & Elkins College News & Information : “New Dawn Orientation this Weekend”

Elkins, WV – Davis & Elkins College will welcome new students to campus this weekend with two full days of activities, information sessions, and special events during its “New Dawn” Orientation Weekend Saturday and Sunday.

Dean of Students Scott Goddard says, “Orientation is an important part of college life, comprised of a series of events and activities designed to help entering students explore all that their college experience has to offer. It all gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday, when parents and new students start arriving for check-in at The McDonnell Center. Area merchants will be there too, making a first impression on Elkins’s newest customers.”

President G.T. “Buck” Smith says the weekend sets the tone for the year to follow. And will usher in the dawn of a new year – one that is full of promise for Davis & Elkins College. He noted: “Saturday is the first day of a life-changing adventure for these young men and women. They will make a new home, meet new friends, and take the first steps toward getting their college degree. It’s a new dawn for them. And it’s a new dawn for D&E and our larger community.

“This is the largest incoming class in over six decades,” he noted. “For the second year in a row, we have broken every recruiting record since 1947. Now, we must welcome them in every way possible and make sure they feel comfortable, confident and at home. We welcome the community – our friends in Elkins and Randolph County especially – to join with us as well.”

Smith points to Sunday’s “New Dawn Concert: An Evening with Jack Gibbons” as the pivotal opportunity for the community and the campus to connect. “It will be a beautiful celebration,” he adds. “A time to welcome not only students, but new faculty and staff, including Mr. Gibbons himself as our Artist-in-Residence, and our college and community’s great and generous friend, Doris Buffett. This will be her third visit to the area this year.”

Ms. Buffett will be flying into Elkins from Maine for a two-day visit and conclusion of the Buffett Challenge. Members of the Davis & Elkins College Board of Trustees are arriving too from far and wide to be on hand to help welcome her and attend the Sunday evening concert.

“Donors to her Challenge not only met, but exceeded the $300,000 cash goal she set last spring,” President Smith said. “When we reached the $300,000 mark in late May – in half the allotted time, three months ahead of schedule – Doris said ‘keep on collecting your pledges and any money beyond the $300,000. We’ll settle up on August 30!’

“She has had a demanding summer, with many major TV appearances in response to her new book entitled, Giving It All Away. Her presence with us is a great compliment to Davis & Elkins College and to the citizens of our community. She seems to see great promise in our College and region. We all have a part to play in welcoming her ‘home’ to West Virginia and Elkins.”

In addition to the Sunday evening concert with Gibbons, fiddler Gerry Milnes and friends, and the West Virginia Highlanders, followed by fireworks, D&E’s Orientation Weekend will provide an almost non-stop schedule of meetings and activities to help students prepare for the year ahead. The complete schedule for the weekend, as well as added special events through September 4, follows:


8 a.m. – 12 noon: Orientation Check-in & Welcome Fair

The McDonnell Center for Health, Physical Education, and Athletics

Students will check in and receive Orientation materials and visit with guests from local businesses to see what they can offer D&E students.

8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Madden Student Center Bookstore Open

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Welcoming Picnic

Augusta Dance Pavilion

Students, faculty and staff enjoy a first meal together.

1:45 p.m. Opening Ceremony Processional

4th Floor, Eshleman Science Center

All new students will gather and prepare to make a processional walk into the auditorium much like the one they will make when they don caps and gowns when they have completed their journey at D&E.

2:00 p.m. Welcoming Ceremony

Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

Join President Buck Smith and guests as he officially welcomes all new students and parents to Davis & Elkins College.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Student Scene 101

Robbins Chapel Plaza

Who doesn’t want to meet new people and make new friends?! Resident Assistants and D&E Faculty will help students meet other incoming students in just 60 minutes. A fun and interactive session!

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Parent and Family Orientation

Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

The beginning of a student’s college years means a transition for the entire family. At this session, parents learn how their student will grow and change and how to help them succeed both inside and outside the classroom. Current and former D&E parents share what their experiences have been like.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. President’s Reception for Parents and Families

Hearthstone (President’s Home)

President “Buck” and Joni Smith welcome students, faculty and staff to their home for a D&E family gathering.

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Dinner (All students and families welcome)

Benedum Dining Room

7:00 p.m. Residence Hall Meetings (residential students only)

Individual Residence Halls

9:00 p.m. Minute to Win It Game Show

Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

D&E’s twist on the NBC reality/game show. It’s called Minute To Win It, and the object is to win a series of 10 easy-to-understand but increasingly-hard-to-win challenges. As the title suggests, the players must successfully complete each of the games in a minute.


10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Madden Student Center Bookstore Open

10:00 a.m. The New Dawn Java Stop

Robbins Chapel

Coffee and fellowship with Davis & Elkins College friends and family.

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. New Dawn Chapel Service

Robbins Chapel

Rejoice in the prospect of new adventures!

11:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Brunch

Benedum Dining Room

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. The Senator Circuit

Harper- McNeeley Auditorium

More about what students should expect freshman year and key things to know. The Naylor Learning Center, the Counseling and Wellness Center, Information Technology, and Academic Basics will be featured.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dinner

Benedum Dining Room


Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

One of the world’s finest pianists – internationally acclaimed Jack Gibbons – stars in a welcoming celebration for everyone. D&E’s new Artist in Residence. He will be joined by Special Guest, philanthropist Doris Buffett, as well as our Augusta Heritage Center’s Gerry Milnes, Matt Kupstas and Becky Hill. The West Virginia Highlanders will welcome you to Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. Fireworks to follow.


8:00 a.m.

Classes Begin

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Naylor Learning Center/Supported Learning Program Orientation

Albert Hall, Room 204

For students participating in D&E’s Supported Learning Program.

For more information about the weekend and to involve your business or organization, contact Dean of Students Scott Goddard at 304-637-1352.