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Orientation Helps Class of 2026 Find Comfort, Connection, and Contribution on Campus

September 6, 2022

For the Class of 2026, the last four days were a whirlwind of activity as they kicked off their four-year journey at St. John Fisher University. Welcomed by the Orientation Team dancing to “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical, first-year and transfer students were introduced to all things Fisher.

Members of the Orientation team at Move-In Day.

New students met upper-class students from a variety of majors and were able to connect with fellow Cardinals in their residence halls, first-year seminars, and clubs and organizations. All in all, Orientation was committed to providing a comfortable segue into a new life at Fisher.

Key players in the planning and execution of Orientation 2022 came from the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership and Residential Life. Assistant Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Megan Flaherty, led Orientation 2022 with one goal in mind: creating an environment that promotes “comfort, connection, and contribution.”

The Orientation welcome squad encompassed a group of more than 90 student leaders on campus as either operations managers or orientation leaders. Student leaders of the Orientation Team served as team leads who were in charge of a group of orientation leaders/managers, or student orientation coordinators (SOCs), who worked directly with Flaherty as the link between her office and the Orientation Team.

Team leads Emma Bartholomay ’23, Sophie Burt ’23, Meaghan Kehoe ’23, Mairead Kelly ’23, Emily King ’23, Alaina Sargalski ’23, Karly Smith ’23, Caleb Thomas ’22, and Elizabeth Tramonto ’22 come from both the junior and senior classes and a variety of majors. Student orientation coordinators Spencer Bonawitz ’23, Jackson Bright ’23, and Nicole Smith ’23 are three seniors who have shown their commitment to Fisher since their first year on campus.

Orientation Weekend came to a close with the annual Matriculation Ceremony, officially signifying the beginning of their academic journey as a Cardinal. During the ceremony, President Gerard Rooney and Provost Kevin Railey delivered remarks to the students.

“The start of a new academic year brings with it a new and vibrant energy as well as a sense of excitement and clarity.  Today ends the ceremonial aspects of your transition to the campus community.  Orientation gives way to matriculation – which is the formal start of your educational career at Fisher,” Rooney said. “My hope is that we can work together to make ours a campus where all feel welcome and enjoy a sense of belonging – one where we can listen to, share with, and learn from each other.  One where we can each feel a sense of personal comfort and support that allows each of us to thrive – to fully become the person that we want to be.”

Students also heard words of advice from Dr. Maryann Herman, associate professor of biology; sophomore Emily Tollar ’25; and Student Government Association President Ian Klenk ’24.

“You have everything ahead of you now,” he said. “It is here where you will meet your best friends, your closest confidants, the loves of your life, and you find or begin to find your career path, your calling, as some may claim; you’ll be introduced to those people or passions that will set you on the course of your life.”

This article was written by Nicole Smith ’23, an executive intern in the Office of Marketing and Communications.