Group photo of the Dean College Class of 2026

On Monday, September 5, our incoming first-year students moved into their residence halls and officially began their Dean experience. We marked the occasion by recognizing the Class of 2026 with a matriculation ceremony held in the Guidrey Center.

Introductory remarks were provided by Shannon Overcash, Assistant Dean of Students, and Dr. Scott Sibley, Vice President of Academic Affairs. Student Government Association President Mariah Sheirer ’23 shared the student perspective with our new Bulldogs and encouraged them to make the most of their four years here. Dr. Rob Lawson, professor of History and director of the Honors Program, followed with a presentation about notable Dean alumni and community members to provide an overview of the College’s rich history.

President Kenneth Elmore and Chancellor Edward Augustus, Jr. addressed students for the first time, welcoming them to Dean and encouraging them to support their fellow classmates as they embark on their educational journeys. An overview of the incoming first-year class was also provided by Iris Godes, Associate Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions, to introduce students to the community they are joining.

Each of the four schools were introduced and students were recognized as part of their respective schools and majors. To conclude the ceremony, all incoming students stood and were officially welcomed as the Dean College Class of 2026.

As students processed out, Chancellor Augustus and President Elmore shook their hands to personally welcome them to Dean. Each student also got the pat the bronze bulldog statue, a tradition that will come full circle at the Class of 2026 Commencement Ceremony in four years.

Welcome to Dean, Class of 2026! We are so happy to have you here on campus and wish you all the best throughout your time here. View photos of the ceremony in the media gallery below.