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Welcome Home Class of 2022!

September 5, 2018

Starting with an enthusiastic Move-In Day on Saturday, Sept. 1, St. John Fisher College welcomed more than 800 new undergraduate students to campus, including 600 first-year students, the third largest freshman class in College history.

Lexi Blesy and Kailyn Woodard

On Saturday, among the bedding, bookshelves, and bins of clothing, parents like Karen Woodard offered a few words of advice to their students.

“Enjoy college, this is your new beginning, as Fisher always says, and it’s a chance to meet new friends,” she said, admitting that she did shed a few tears while packing up her daughter, Kailyn. “Knowing that she’s in a safe environment—and a fresh and exciting environment—made it easier for me.”

For her part, Kailyn Woodard was equally excited. While unpacking alongside her new roommate, Lexi Blesy, Woodard shared her hopes for her first semester and what brought her to Fisher.

“The campus just felt like home, I loved the atmosphere and how everyone was very friendly. I’m excited to make new friends and have new experiences,” she said, noting that she’s eager to start classes in adolescence education. She hopes to be a math teacher when she graduates. 

Before saying their goodbyes, Fisher’s newest undergraduates and their families enjoyed a welcome picnic hosted by President Gerard J. Rooney, who celebrated his fourth Move-In Day as Fisher’s president. Rooney, and his wife, Susan, also met families as they waited in line to drop off their belongings at Ward-Haffey, and even helped students move a few boxes in Murphy Hall.

First-year student Meg Bilodeau receives some move-in help from Mrs. Rooney.

First-year student Meg Bilodeau receives some move-in help from Mrs. Rooney.

Fittingly, this year’s Orientation theme was “Welcome Home,” and the team had numerous activities planned throughout the weekend, including Playfair, campus information sessions, class dinners, and the popular Target Takeover event.

Senior Sarah Kubik, who serves as a peer mentor, said greeting new students as they arrive on campus was her way of paying forward the warm welcome she received when she arrived at Fisher.

“It makes freshmen feel welcome, and they’re going to enjoy the experience so much more because we’re here helping them,” Kubik said, offering a bit of advice to new students in between hauling bins and fridges. “Get involved, that’s my number one thing. You’re going to make friends right away, you’re always going to have something to do, and it’s going to make you a better, more well-rounded student. Go to the Involvement Fest, talk to your peer mentors. It’s the best way to have the best experience on campus. ”

Members of the Class of 2022 come from a dozen states, including Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico. Close to 90 percent of the class will reside on campus. Nursing, biology, sport management, chemistry, and accounting are among the majors with the most interest from first-year students.

Orientation came to a close on Tuesday, as incoming students attended the Matriculation Ceremony. During the ceremony, they signed the Fisher Creed, which student leaders Erin Turpin, CJ Wild, Jocelyn Hakizimana, and Hannah Batten, introduced and read aloud to them.

Turpin, who is president of the Student Government Association, also offered remarks.

“Just last year, I was sitting in this same room during my Matriculation, feeling some of the same emotions as you all are, getting welcomed to the family. We all have a different idea of what a family is; we all come with different backgrounds and structures and stories,” she said. “But here, the Fisher family means that you are never going to be left in the dark without guidance. The Fisher family means we help each other. It means we struggle and overcome together. It means we care for one another. On behalf of the entire student body, the administration, and the faculty and staff of the College, welcome home, Class of 2022!”

Members of the Class of 2022 spell out 2022 on the Growney Stadium bleachers.