Colgate’s ice cream social is a tradition for first-years and families.

Current students helped first years carry their boxes and bags. Parents placed family photos on clean dresser tops, where they hoped they would stay. Pets and younger siblings wondered what to make of the fuss. And everyone ate ice cream.

On move-in day at Colgate, admission brochures come alive. There’s campus beauty, school spirit, and a close-knit community of faculty and staff offering advice at the ice cream social. Brand new academic building sparkle alongside the oldest residence halls whose stone was quarried by hand by Colgate’s founders nearly 200 years ago.

(Click here for photos from arrival day and orientation.)

And some traditions, like the Polk family’s connection to Colgate, are just a few years old.

Today, Cheryl Polk of St. Louis dropped off her youngest son, Charles, a proud member of the Class of 2016. As she had done twice before when dropping off each of her older children — Clarissa Polk ’10 and Caden Polk ’12 — she asked all three to pose for a family photo. This year there are three Colgate banners.

Polk siblings: Caden ’12, Charles ’16, and Clarissa ’10.

Next week, Clarissa goes back to school as well. She is working on a dual degree in law and Chinese language and history at Washington University in St. Louis. Today, she was a proud big sister. “Colgate was amazing; I loved it. Caden had a great experience here. And now I’m really happy that Charles will have the opportunities that we both had before him.”

Today, 758 new students arrived on campus, representing 41 states and 23 countries. The class was chosen from an applicant pool of 7,798, representing 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 127 countries. Many had already met their roommates on the Class of 2016 Facebook page, and chatted with Beverly Low, dean of first-year students, on the social media site Reddit.