The threat of rain couldn’t contain the excitement as Vanderbilt welcomed in the class of 2020 early Saturday morning. Instead, the yearly tradition went on without a hitch, running from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. with the help of hundreds of students, volunteers and staff alike.
Outside of the residence halls, members of the move-in crew greeted each wave of first year students with chants of “Anchor Down” with the accompanying hand gesture.
Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos and and head football coach Derek Mason also came through Commons to meet nearly 1700 of Vanderbilt’s newest students.
“My plan for this day is to try to be as welcoming and inclusive and warm and thank everyone for all the hard work, but tell the parents that we’re going to take great care of their kids,” Zeppos said.
After settling in Saturday, the newest first year and transfer students partook in the annual Founders Walk. Zeppos led the way for the transfer students, while Student Body President Ariana Fowler and Vice President Taylor Gutierrez, flanked to the side by Provost Susan Wente and Vanessa Beasley, Dean of the Ingram Commons.
The band greeted them first, followed soon after by the spirit squads, football team and head basketball coach Bryce Drew. It turned more into a run as the students, organized by residence house, got their first glimpse of the student organizations by Alumni lawn.
Once seated, it marked the first time these students were all together. Ironically, it’s also just one of two times that Zeppos will address this class in its entirety, the other instance being graduation.
Speaking first, Dean Beasley challenged the class of 2020. “How will you go to college?” she asked.
Perry Brandt, President of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association and Chancellor Zeppos spoke about the vast network of alumni, who these students now share a connection with. Provost Wente urged students to make strong connections with their professors.
The ten faculty head of houses were then introduced, while students in these residence halls stood up and cheered them on. The concert choir closed out the evening with the singing of the alma mater.