Penn welcomes the Class of 2019

The quiet of the summer has ended and the Penn campus is alive with activity at the arrival of the Class of 2019.

Members of the freshman class began moving into college houses on Aug. 20, pulling suitcases filled with clothing and carrying in necessities including lamps, bedding, and laptops.


Teams of Penn upperclassmen and staff volunteers helped make the move-in process run smoothly by directing and assisting freshmen and their families in transporting belongings from their vehicles into the dorm.

Comprised of nearly 2,500 students, the Class of 2019 hails from all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.

The largest numbers of students are from Pennsylvania with 377, followed by 327 from New York, 256 from New Jersey, and 212 from California. The Class’ 353 international students come from 72 countries, including China, India, and Ghana.

“I chose Penn because in the end, it was the one that made sense,” says Christina Nordrum, a member of the rowing team. “It’s in a city that has four seasons and it has the academic program that I want.”

She’s considering majoring in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

For her mom Susann, the move-in is bittersweet. Christina is the last of her three children to move away from home.

“It’s good that she’s doing this,” says Susann Nordrum, as she wiped her eyes, “but it’s hard.”

In what has become a tradition, Penn President Amy Gutmann visited several college houses to greet students and their families.  

Jonathan Delgadillo Lorenzo was so excited, he wasn’t sure what to say when he encountered Gutmann as he was moving into Hill College House.

“When I was walking by, I didn’t know if she’d be talking to everybody, so I was just looking to the back of the room,” says Delgadillo Lorenzo. “She came up and asked where I was from, what school I was from.”

After flying in from Los Angeles, getting to campus, and finally moving into his room, meeting Gutmann turned out to be one of the highlights of Delgadillo Lorenzo’s long day.

Before classes begin on Aug. 26, the newest members of the Penn community will spend five days getting acquainted with the University and Philadelphia at New Student Orientation events. They’ll learn more about what to expect in college life and tour the city, visiting the Art Museum and historical sites and, of course, taste Philadelphia’s famous cheesesteaks and soft pretzels.

Photos by Peter Tobia