Lycoming College will welcome the class of 2017 to campus during its annual New Student Convocation at 4 p.m. Friday.
The traditional ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year will be held on the college's Upper Quad near Clarke Chapel.
In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Recreation Center. Guest speaker James F. Campbell, Ed.D., president of Hope Enterprises Inc., will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
From 9 a.m. to noon, Lycoming's Move-in Crew, comprised of students and staff, will be on hand to assist new students and their families. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 26.
The 385 new students hail from 17 states and five foreign countries. The class boasts SAT scores well above national and state averages; 49 freshmen received invitations to Lycoming's Scholars Program.
Though their academic interests are diverse, many students plan to pursue study in the college's biology, business, criminal justice, education and psychology programs. Compared to other recent classes, the class of 2017 also will include the highest number of students interested in majors in astronomy, economics and actuarial math.
Campbell's career began as a special education teacher in the 1970s in the Williamsport Area School District.
His background includes serving as executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of North Central Pennsylvania, a supervisor of special education in the WASD for 12 years and director of student services for Intermediate Unit 17. He joined Hope Enterprises in 1998.
He was an adjunct professor at Lycoming during the inception of its special education certification program several years ago.
He was instrumental in bringing the Hope Early Learning Program to Lycoming's campus in 2006. This partnership allows the College's education students to gain a better understanding of the role of an early childhood teacher.
In addition, Lycoming participates in a job coaching program with Hope by employing adults with disabilities in its food service program.
Campbell earned a bachelor's degree from Mansfield University, a master's degree from Bloomsburg University and a doctorate degree from Penn State University.
He and his wife, Bethann, live in Cogan Station, and have three children and five grandchildren.
Hope Enterprises is based in Williamsport with a mission to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities by providing them with responsive services and support.
It provides service in a seven-county area with 550 employees and an annual budget in excess of $25 million.