Welcome Class of 2017

August 22nd, 2013 | SMWC


NaShaunda Rayford (l) shares a moment with her mom.

See Photos from move-in on Flickr.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) bustled with activity with the arrival of the Class of 2017.  Nearly 100 first year students, from eight states and four countries, moved-in to the campus residence hall on August 22, 2013.

The day began with the traditional welcoming of students and their families by President Dottie King, Ph.D., as they entered the gates.

“As president, there are a great many things I have the opportunity to do throughout the school year, and welcoming the freshman class to campus is one of the most special,” King said. “I encourage students to move beyond their comfort zone and give themselves fully to this unique and new experience.”

NaShaunda Rayford, from Anderson, Ind., is ready for her new experience. “I am very excited to be here and get started.” Rayford plans to major in psychology.


Michaela Lavin(r) with her grandmother and sisters.

Generations of families have passed on The Woods tradition to their children, grandchildren, and siblings, and in this class 23 percent are legacy students. Michaela Lavin, from Peoria, Ill., has three relatives who graduated from The Woods. Sisters Alexis Lavin ’01, Siobhan Lavin’03 and grandmother Angela Crowley Kenny ’51 were on hand to help her move-in.

One might say that it was destiny for Michaela to attend The Woods. She stayed overnight with her sisters when the campus held various family events. Alexis fondly recalls her fifth year reunion when she and her classmates made a nametag for Michaela (then 11 years old) with a 2017 graduation year.

“I have a lot of support and no pressure,” she joked.

Courtney Prather, from Colorado Springs, Colo., looks forward to starting classes. “I’m excited and a little nervous.” Prather will have a great support system with grandmother, Jean Prather ’00, who lives nearby.

Rounding out the hustle and bustle of moving in, students will participate in orientation sessions, meet classmates and become acclimated to campus life.

Comment on this article

This story has been moved to the archive and comments have now been disabled.