With bubbles, signs and cheers, orientation leaders are the first members of the Amherst College community to meet the arriving class of 2026 on move-in day. These students play a pivotal role in guiding new students during their transition to college life.
Top: Lauren Dinhofer ’23 smears purple coloring under President Michael A. Elliott’s eyes. Adorned with Amherst spirit, the new president is finally ready to give the incoming students a proper greeting.
Bottom: As the Scarborough family’s minivan pulls up in line, Elliott offers a warm welcome.
Dressed in green T-shirts, orientation leaders pose for an impromptu group photo with President Elliott.
Top: Francelia Walsh-Despeignes ’24 and President Elliott get to know each other in the stairwell of Charles Pratt, a first-year residence hall. The orange T-shirt indicates that Walsh-Despeignes is a community advisor.
Bottom left: Hailing from Greece, George Chaidemenos ’26 shakes hands with Elliott. As a welcome gift when Elliott was named president, Chaidemenos had sent him a replica of the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient Greek device that many consider the world’s first computer thanks to its complex ability to predict celestial events.
Bottom right: Haru Nakazawa ’24 and Elliott chat over an empty moving cart. As a community advisor, Nakazawa will be living among the first-year students and offering his support throughout the academic year. With more than 100 residents, Charles Pratt is the largest first-year residence hall on campus.
Top: Custodians Carl Carrano and Eric Baldwin rearrange a residence hall room in Williston Hall.
Bottom: Fellow New Yorkers and new roommates Kayly Vargas ’26 (left) and Jenna Berkman ’26 further set up this room in Williston with the help of their mothers. The most represented home state among the class of 2026 is New York, with Massachusetts and California a close second and third, respectively.