Oxford welcomes 2024 Spring Start class

Daniel Christian •

Oxford Spring Start leaders
Photo by Julia Kim

Oxford's newest students arrived on campus in January with fresh perspectives after a fall semester of personal exploration.

This month, Oxford welcomed its third Spring Start class—a highly accomplished group of students who spent the fall semester expanding their academic horizons, studying abroad, or gaining real-world work experience.

This year’s group of 46 students hail from 21 states and two other countries.

“Our 2024 class of Spring Start students is a truly talented group,” said Amanda Yu-Nguyen, co-interim dean of campus life. “We can’t wait to see how they use their enriching fall experiences to contribute to and shape our campus community.”

Spring Start 2024 Oxford Olympics

Divided into orientation groups, Spring Start students competed in the Oxford Olympics.

Kathryne Davis

Daphne Orr, co-interim dean of campus life, added: “It was a pleasure to welcome them to campus and initiate their Oxford experience with time-honored traditions, like the Oxford Olympics and Coke Toast.”

The Olympics and Coke Toast were part of Spring Start orientation, a five-day program starting with move-in day that helped students acclimate to college life and learn more about their new academic home. Divided into groups led by second-year orientation leaders, students participated in a number of other activities, including: a campus scavenger hunt, a resource fair, community service opportunities, and a leadership and involvement showcase.

Abigail Sweitzer, part of this year’s class, was one student who spent her fall semester learning more about the world. As part of an educational trip, she went to Nepal where she stayed in locals’ homes and a Buddhist monastery. She also studied the Nepali language, Buddhist philosophy, and Ayurvedic medicine—and completed a trek in the Himalayas.

Spring Start move-in day

Spring Start students started orientation week by moving into dorms with the help of friends and family.

Julia Kim

In addition to studying the regional culture, Sweitzer—who plans to major in international studies—discovered more about herself: “From my Nepal adventures, I learned to value spontaneity and mindfulness, as well as to practice unflinching determination in completing difficult challenges, mostly as a result of my hiking trek. I’m most excited about getting involved in clubs and immersing myself in political science at Oxford.”

Kailash Menon, one of the orientation leaders and a former spring start student from the 2023 cohort, was happy to help this new group learn about all Oxford has to offer.

“It was exciting to share with new students the traditions and stories of how connected the campus community is,” she said. “Being a Spring Start student myself was vital for connecting with this year's group because I've been in their shoes. My favorite part about being an orientation leader was providing a lens of reassurance. The beauty of Oxford is that here, we never stand alone.”