Customs: Welcome to Haverford

Customs: Welcome to Haverford

The Class of 2016 on the "trust walk"


Customs is, for all intents and purposes, the start of college for all Fords. It is Haverford College’s first-year orientation program that precedes the start of the fall semester. “Students are away from home for the first time,” says Customs Week Co-Head Benjamin Van San. “They’re expected to make smart decisions with regards to their academic, artistic, athletic, and social life. Customs builds the foundations for these healthy decisions.”

This year, in addition to perennial events like Dorm Olympics, a tree planting, a trust walk and the Honor Code presentation, the Class of 2016 were treated to some unique events. Thanks to Labor Day, this year’s Customs had an extra day, which was used to for some academic-orientated presentations and discussions designed to give first-years a better understanding of Haverford’s academic environment. It also provided time for a new event: Casino Night, during which Founders Great Hall was turned into a casino and the Customs Group with the most chips won prizes. (We hear some groups even dressed up for the occasion!) But the highlight of the almost-weeklong program was a flashmob planned by new Coordinator of Student Life Lilly Lavner and Customs Week Co-Head Jay Gorchow. (See video below to watch upperclassmen take over the Green with a dance to “Call Me Maybe.”)



“For me, watching the flashmob was a great indicator of how invested the customs folk are in the program,” said Jake Weisenthal, another Customs Week co-head. “That was great. In general, though, it’s amazing to watch the customs groups bond over the course of the week. At first it’s often noticeably awkward, whether at dinner at the DC or an opening event. And by the final events, for example Dorm Olympics, frosh are throwing themselves out there, joking around with their hallmates, and totally invested in customs. That’s probably the best part.”

Click photos to enlarge.

Dorm Olympics photos by Thomas Carroll


  1. Call Me Maybe video – move over US Swim Team – but bet they won’t be dancin after Spring Finals!

  2. I was expecting a gangnam style flash mob.

  3. Absolutely great to see where Customs Week has gone over the three decades plus since Chris Kelly ’81 and I — along with a great crew of Customsmen and Customswomen — helped initiate HC’s first co-ed freshmen class. Love the Olympics — perfect way to give us a bit of our own Greek-ness!

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