More than 600 new St. Petersburg, Florida, residents will move into their home away from home on Friday, Aug. 11, as Eckerd College welcomes the Class of 2027 to campus. The geographically diverse group of students will take advantage of living and learning in a city close to beaches, a vibrant downtown, an arts community and so much more.
Eckerd attracted 625 new students to make the journey from 48 states and 15 countries this fall. More than 500 of them will begin their careers at the Ceremony of Lights, a unique College welcoming ceremony to be held on Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the McArthur Gymnasium.
“Living here is such an integral part of the Eckerd experience,” says Jacob Browne, Eckerd College’s dean of admission. “As a small, private liberal arts college, we pride ourselves on the community we create, and a part of that community comes from daily interactions outside the classrooms and living alongside students from a variety of backgrounds. Not having to commute or work to pay for off-campus housing allows our students more time for research and other rigorous intellectual pursuits.”
International Tritons will travel from as near as Canada and as far as Australia to join their American classmates for Autumn Term, Eckerd College’s three-week orientation where they will take their first official college course for credit, meet their initial faculty and peer mentors, and get to know campus before upperclass students return to begin classes on Labor Day.
The Ceremony of Lights, an Eckerd tradition, will officially welcome the Class of 2027 to affirm the Honor Pledge and receive light from the Lamp of Knowledge, passed candle to candle beginning with Eckerd faculty. Remarks will be given by College President Jim Annarelli, Vice President for Student Life Amy Falvo, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Christine Wooley, Vice President for Enrollment Management John Sullivan, Director of Religious Life and Chaplain Doug McMahon, and Eckerd College Organization of Students President Maddie Reifsteck ’24—with a land acknowledgment to be read by Eckerd College Organization of Students Vice President for Academic Affairs Aja Jones ’25 and a benediction to be offered by Campus Rabbi Ed Rosenthal.