More than 400 first-year students gathered in the John A. Danzi Athletic Center Gymnasium at SJC Long Island last week for orientation. With the day’s theme of “Finding Your True North,” freshmen were reminded that their journey to finding themselves starts here and now — at SJC Long Island.
Echoing sentiments of this theme, key SJC Long Island leaders welcomed the newest Golden Eagles to the College.
“Although I had a great time in high school, it was only in college that I really began to understand who I was,” St. Joseph’s College President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., said. “I really began to understand what my place in the world might be. Because suddenly I was surrounded by people who had similar interests. They were ambitious, they wanted to succeed, they wanted to study, they wanted to do well. And I found that really invigorating and exciting. I think you will find that here, as well.”
Students also heard from Interim Executive Dean Wendy Turgeon, Ph.D.; Vice President for Student Life Rose Mary Howell, Ed.D.; Bryan Gill, executive director of student involvement, leadership and multicultural programming; and Student Orientation Chairperson Alyssa Petry ’19.
Your choice to attend St. Joseph’s College marks the beginning of an exciting journey toward success.” —Student Orientation Chairperson Alyssa Petry ’19
“Be curious, go on adventures and make new friends,” Dr. Turgeon said, providing the new students with three tips to make the most of their time here.
Dr. Turgeon encouraged the students to be curious by engaging in the rich liberal arts courses, exploring subjects and ideas that are new to them. She asked that they go on adventures through service-learning trips, internship opportunities, presenting at conferences and studying abroad. Lastly, she told them to take advantage of all the activities that happen on campus and to get involved — whether it’s in student clubs and organizations or athletics — explaining that their lifelong friends are sitting right next to them.
“It won’t take long for you to feel like this is home,” Dr. Howell said. “We look forward to a successful first year, and we look forward to working with you.”
“All the orientation leaders you see around the room have worked tirelessly since May to ensure that you, our first-year students, fall in love with SJC just as we have,” Petry said when welcoming the Class of 2022. “There are so many reasons to love campus life here, and we’re confident that you will soon be familiar with them.”
Petry, a child study major with a concentration in history, told the entering freshmen about her own experience starting college at St. Joseph’s.
“I was a shy kid in high school, and I wasn’t too involved. When I got to college, however, I decided to make a change. Change in college is a beneficial necessity. It allows you to determine who you are and who you want to be.
“Your choice to attend St. Joseph’s College marks the beginning of an exciting journey toward success. On behalf of the entire 2018 orientation team, we welcome you.”
A Day of Fun
After hearing from various members of the College community, students listened to keynote speaker Arel Moodie. A professional speaker who has addressed more than 400,000 people in 48 states and five countries, Moodie taught the students a secret to help them make the most of college: everyone’s just as nervous and scared as the person next to them. He encouraged them to go out and meet new people, to get involved as much as they can and to remind themselves that they are not alone in their apprehension.
The event also included lunch, campus tours, a visit from the Mr. Softee truck, complimentary zeppolis and fried Oreos, an activities fair where students could speak to representatives from various College offices and ask last-minute questions, and the distribution of student IDs.
It won’t take long for you to feel like this is home.” —Vice President for Student Life Rose Mary Howell, Ed.D.