August 24, 2017
Communications and Marketing
On Thursday, August 24, with many boxes, bags and cheers, the newest class of Anselmians moved into the Hilltop to begin their Saint Anselm College careers. The official inception of the class of 2021 brought more than 550 first-year and transfer students to campus to join their fellow students who arrived earlier this summer for pre-season athletics and the Transitions pre-orientation program (571 total incoming first-year and transfer students).
As packed cars and trucks pulled up to the residence halls, many parents were surprised and relieved to find orientation leaders, resident assistants, student-athletes, and college administrators and staff members not only cheering, but standing at the ready to help unload and move the first-years into their new home.
"It was amazing," said one mother, Karen Gekas. "It was the best welcome I could have asked for."
Throughout the morning hours, students unpacked and settled into their new rooms in Joan of Arc Hall, Dominic Hall, the Alumni Hall Streets, and Baroody Hall. The afternoon was spent buying books, picking up mailbox keys, grabbing lunch at Davison, and finalizing any last-minute paperwork. Many families also opted to tour the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, visit the Multicultural Center, or learn about various programs and opportunities on campus. More than 50 stopped by the Alumni Family Welcome to participate in the alumni "family" photo. This year's first-year class includes 91 legacy families.
After 2 p.m. Mass, celebrated by Abbot Matthew Leavy, O.S.B. in the Abbey Church, new students and families were officially welcomed to Saint Anselm on the Quad in front of Alumni Hall. Senior Matthew Sargent, orientation leader chair and communication major, advised students to take advantage all the college has to offer.
"Here, you have countless opportunities to explore yourself and who you want to become," said Sargent. "Try something out of your comfort zone, explore different academic interests, attend all kinds of events. Even if something isn't for you, it's the people you meet and the memories you make that'll truly make your time here special."
Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, Saint Anselm College president, encouraged first-year students to make the college their home, calling upon them to embrace the community, its values, and traditions.
"In a world full of disruption, we pride ourselves on the stability of our Benedictine education and traditions," said Dr. DiSalvo. "And a hallmark of our values is community and a call to serve the common good. Your time here will prepare you to engage with viewpoints other than your own and to be global citizens who can lead respectful discourse for the common good. As a community, we rise above hurtful rhetoric by embracing the values of the Gospel which teaches us to love one another as God has loved us."
He then closed the welcoming event by asking parents to say their goodbyes, officially marking the beginning of new student orientation, and a weekend full of bonding activities with orientation leaders and classmates.
Class of 2021 At a Glance
- 44% men, 56% women
- 25 states and 4 foreign countries represented
- Average G.P.A.: 3.28
- Top 5 majors: nursing, business, criminal justice,biology, politics