Aug 25, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Cazenovia village residents may have noticed there was a celebration of sorts going on last Friday at Cazenovia College, with blue and yellow balloons all over campus, music playing, Zac the Wildcat mascot walking around, students in neon yellow shirts everywhere and carloads of freshmen (and their parents) arriving and unloading furniture and boxes of dorm-room decorations. The smiles, hugs and little bit of nervousness visible on the college quad were all evidence that the college’s newest student — the class of 2018 — were moving in for the start of the new school year.
“This is always a good day, everyone’s excited,” said Wayne Westervelt, vice president for marketing and communications. “We put a lot into welcoming our new students and making them feel like part of a new family.”
Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. last Friday, Aug. 22, 333 new students — 283 of which were freshmen — arrived on campus to move into their rooms. Legions of “orientation leaders” — returning students wearing neon yellow shirts that said “Chaos Control” on the back — were on hand across the campus to help unload cars and carry personal possessions into the dorms, as well as to direct students and parents to various locations around campus.
The weather turned from sunny to heavy rain in late morning, but the freshmen kept coming and the Chaos Control kept helping.
One thing the weather did affect was the afternoon welcome ceremony, which was moved from outdoors on the quad into the athletic complex upper gym. There, incoming students were welcomed by President Mark A. Tierno and other college officials. Every student also walked across the stage, shook hands with the president, announced their name and where they were from and put their signature in the class book.
“This is something we love to do: You start your college experience this way and then do the same thing at graduation,” Westervelt said. “It’s fun.”
In the gymnasium, filled to capacity, Tierno welcomed the incoming students who arrived from 19 different states and every region of the U.S.
“You are a very talented group of students, many of you were in the top 10 percent of your class; and because you’re so good, we expect a lot from you,” Tierno said.
He encouraged the new students to work hard, explore, reinvent and discover themselves while at Cazenovia. “Congratulations on this huge step toward a bright and accomplished future,” he said.
SGA President Samantha Barnes, a senior from Washington state with two siblings who also attend Cazenovia College, told the freshmen, “The best thing you can do this week is to put yourself out there,” attend events and meet people. “This will be one of the most memorable weeks in your entire college career.”
Friday evening, after all the parents had gone the students were officially on their own, the freshmen attended the official first night ceremony. The weekend was then filled with a mix of various social and academic preparatory events. Monday was a day to confirm schedules and settle in, and Tuesday was the first day of classes.
“I am delighted to welcome the new first year students to Cazenovia. I hope they will feel that our community is their home for the next four years and that immersing themselves in the many natural, cultural and historical resources here will be part of their educational experience,” said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “Cooper the cat is, of course, incredibly excited to have hundreds of new friends move into his neighborhood and sends his best wishes as well!”
Cazenovia is a college with just under 1,000 students, 94 percent of which choose to live in campus housing, Westervelt said. The 333 new students is a number “right where we want to be,” in terms of population while, academically, “this is another quality class,” he said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.