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Newest Cardinals Arrive at Fisher

September 3, 2019

When the Class of 2023 arrived at St. John Fisher College on Saturday morning, they brought an excitement for their future at college and a plan for pursuing their passions.

Members of the Class of 2023 spell out the numbers 2-0-2-3 on stadium bleachers.

Albany, New York native Madeline Vazquetelles brought her piccolo and ukulele and she is ready to join the clubs that will foster her love of music. Nick Byerly, from Erie, Pennsylvania, will continue his basketball career as a member of the men’s basketball team. O’Sheonia Carter-Chancey of Syracuse, New York, is ready to immerse herself in the sciences as a biology major.

The third largest freshman class in Fisher history, more than 600 students strong, the Class of 2023 is also the strongest academic class the College has seen, with impressive grade point averages and standardized test scores.  The class also brings the highest number of students to date in the College’s Honors Program, and is the most diverse class, representing 16 percent of the first-year students.

The first-year students come from 11 states including Vermont, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. About 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 the Class of 2023. In addition, more than 250 new arriving student-athletes plan to participate in one of the College’s 24 NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics programs.

Proud Fisher dad Michael Burney, who helped move in his son, Matthew, had a few words of advice for the class.

“Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to ask questions,” he said.

Michael Cahill, who has two daughters at Fisher—Ashley, a junior, and Amanda, a first-year—advises students to study hard and enjoy the college experience. Eileen Wolanski moved in her daughter, Olivia. Her advice: stay true to who you are, be kind always, and make choices that are right for you.

Throughout the holiday weekend, these new Cardinals participated in workshops and seminars introducing them to Fisher. On Tuesday, they attended the Matriculation Ceremony, which officially marked the beginning of their four years at the College. There, they heard advice from President Rooney, Provost Kevin Railey, Fr. Kevin Mannara, 2019 Freshman of the Year Patrick Curtin, 2019 Award for Teaching Excellence recipient Dr. Lori Dambaugh, and Student Government Association President Zaiya Dillon.

“Be open to challenging yourself and get comfortable being stuck, because it may serve you better in the future,” Dillon said. “Everyone on campus is here for you and wants to see you soar, especially me. I cannot wait to see how you, Class of the 2023, make your mark.”