Working off first-day nerves at Penn State Abington

Ceremonies, games, conversations for freshmen
Abington new students

Current Penn State Abington students connect with freshmen over lunch during New Student Day.

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson Photography

Penn State Abington welcomed almost 1,000 new people — the class of 2020 — into the campus family this week during Academic Convocation and New Student Day.

The annual event heads off first week nerves by arming freshman with some important things: new friends and practical information, such as finding the advising office and picking up parking tags.

New students at Abington

Penn State Abington freshman showed their pride signing the banner that will hang at their 2020 commencement.

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson

The freshmen filled the athletics building, signing giant class of 2020 banners and grabbing breakfast and gift bags while student leaders shot T-shirts into the crowd.  

Next up: A formal welcome from another "freshman," new Abington Chancellor Damian J. Fernandez. He pledged the campus community's full support as they work step by step to achieve their goals.

Penn State Abington chancellor

“We share the story of being a freshman in college. You have Bieber, I had Springsteen. You have Instagram, I had love letters,” new Abington Chancellor Damian Fernandez said as the audience laughed. “My experiences are not the same as yours but variations on a theme.” 

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson Photography


Sophomore Charlena Frank, Student Government Association president, encouraged them to be receptive, as she was, to the "brilliant people who showed me opportunities I didn't even know existed."


Student Government Association president Penn State Abington

"During my first semester, I was so nervous I didn't want to move, not even sneeze. But it is the single step of trying something new, sitting next to someone you don’t know or joining an organization that opens doors to growth and friendship," said Charlena Frank, Penn State Abington Student Government Association president.  

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson Photography

The day segued into a series of get-to-know-your-classmates-and-your-college activities. Staff from the Abington Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion reminded them of the benefits of enrolling at the most diverse campus in the Penn State system.

Penn State Abington Class of 2020
Credit: Dan Z. Johnson

Between lunch, Abington Orientation Leaders and Lion Ambassadors played games and encouraged conversations about solid study habits and healthy lifestyle choices during the College 101 session. 

New Student Day
Credit: Dan Z. Johnson Photography

Before the final tailgate, all students learned about Stand for State, the University-wide initiative to reduce relationship and sexual violence.

New Student Day Penn State Abington

Lovin' lunch especially when it's under the big tent on the intramural fields. It's a campus tradition for special events including welcoming the Class of 2020.

Credit: Dan Z. Johnson