Gannon University and the community welcomed the largest incoming class of freshmen in over 25 years on Aug. 17.
President Keith Tayler, Ph.D., faculty, staff and upperclassmen helped the new students move into their dormitory rooms on campus, participating in a continuing Gannon tradition.
Over 750 first-year students and their families were present for Move-In Day on campus.
According to a university press release, new and returning students arrived from around the United States, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as well as from over 53 countries around the world including Honduras, Japan and Nepal.
Chloe Palmiere, a freshman digital media communications student, thought Move-In Day was very quick and organized.
“There were definitely a lot of people,” she said. “But all of the people in yellow shirts were a huge help.”
Palmiere said that her first few weeks of class have been good and that the workload is different from high school, but it’s still a reasonable amount of work.
“Gannon has made me feel very welcomed,” Palmiere said. “I absolutely love the campus. It feels like home.”
Palmiere said that she enjoyed all the activities the freshmen did to get to know one other. She also signed up for a few things at the IgKnight Activities Fair.
“I have always wanted to try out tennis, but I was never the best,” she said. “So I signed up to join the tennis club.”
Palmiere said she is looking forward to all the social activities that Gannon holds, such as dances and sporting events.
Angela Coustillac, assistant director of Leadership Development and Campus Engagement, said in the press release that Preview GU is the five-day welcome week that is designed to help new, first-year students start to feel at home while connecting with people, places and programs on Gannon’s campus.
This annual transistion promotes learning and development through engagement, fostering community and encouraging a culture of dialogue and understanding, which enhances the student’s experience.
These goals are accomplished through workshops, events and get-togethers designed to showcase the richness of the Gannon and Erie communities.
The IgKnight Activities Fair was held on Aug. 20 on Friendship Green.
As part of Preview GU, this event allowed students to check out all the different clubs and organizations and other ways to get involved on campus.
Anthony DiPasqua, the assistant director of Greek Life in the Student Development and Engagement department, said in the press release that the fair was enhanced by offering food, games and prizes to all students who attended while also having a DJ, a photo booth and two food trucks — Kona Ice and The Big Cheese.
Students received tickets by participating for a chance to win prizes such as iPads and TVs.
At this year’s Convocation, the formal observation that marks the beginning of the academic year, the freshman class was presented with their book “Hot Dogs and Hamburgers” by Rob Shindler.
The students will read and discuss this book in their First Year Seminar classes as part of the second annual Gannon READS program.
Anne O’Neill, an instructor with the School of Communication and the Arts and program director for the Advertising Communication and Public Relations programs, said this semester, the School of Communication and the Arts is providing public speaking classes to over 400 upperclassmen and freshmen students with over 20 sections.
“We anticipated for a big freshman class and we were prepared,” O’Neill said.
“This spring we are really ramping up to ensure we can provide a public speaking class to upperclassmen who want to take it and to freshmen not scheduled for the fall and who want it.”
O’Neill said that the university has brought in a number of adjuncts to teach the extra classes this fall and for next spring.
Three of the new public speaking adjuncts are full-time Gannon employees.
“They know Gannon, how things are done and our students,” O’Neill said. “It’s working out really well for our students.”