When freshman Regan Hubbard entered the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) gate, she received a type of welcome she wasn’t quite expecting: a cheering crowd and live music.
“Wow, this is awesome,” the student from Indianapolis said. The nervousness and anxiety that understandably come with moving for college melted away when Hubbard saw the friendly faces on The Avenue enthusiastically cheering her arrival, she said. “That’s the point when I stopped being scared and nervous,” she added. “They really make you feel welcome.”
SMWC faculty and staff lined up The Avenue near the College gate bright and early Thursday morning to cheer on the incoming students. President Dottie L. King, Ph.D., shook hands with and spoke to the freshmen and their family members as each vehicle entered the campus. The SMWC Pep Band serenaded them before being directed to Le Fer Hall for the move-in process.
Approximately 170 freshmen and transfer students are expected to join The Woods family on campus this academic year representing a 45 percent increase from last year. Of those, 23 are males bringing the total enrollment of men to approximately 40. The total number of campus-based students for the 2017-2018 academic year is expected to be 380. These numbers, along with Woods Online enrollment, will be confirmed after Labor Day.
These numbers made for another exciting Move-In Day tradition and New Student Orientation weekend for SMWC. Le Fer Hall was bustling with activity all day with students checking in, unloading and getting to know each other. Their family members proudly sported t-shirts and buttons with the words SMWC Mom, SMWC Dad and SMWC Grandparent. One woman enthusiastically wore a button with “SMWC Best Friend.”
One freshman, Ngun Lian of Indianapolis, is looking forward to studying Criminology, a step toward his goal of becoming a detective. He is also excited to be among a group of SMWC men’s soccer athletes who are conditioning this year in preparation for fall 2018 competition.
Another freshman from Indianapolis, Brenee Smith, plans to major in elementary education. She says starting college is a big step for her and she is thrilled to be joining her best friend in this journey at The Woods. Smith’s mom, Tasha, and younger brother, Anthony, accompanied her on Move-In Day. Anthony missed school on Thursday just to help his sister move in, he said.
Members of the Pomeroy Parents Association were also on campus during the day. They greeted and shared information with family members. “We’re here to support the parents” and to encourage them to play an active role in SMWC’s community, said member John Mace.
Throughout the weekend, new students will participate in programs designed to ease their transition to the College community including an opening Mass, presentations and social activities.
During lunch with students and families on Move-In Day, SMWC Vice President for Enrollment Management Brennan Randolph presented President King with a box filled with acorns, each one representing members of the class of 2021.
“Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has many traditions tied to our woods. We recognize the potential and strength of the acorn in our woods as we recognize the potential and strength in each of you,” Randolph told the students. “You have been planted here and we look forward to seeing you grow …” he added.
SMWC Campus Program Fast Facts (2017-2018) as of August 17, 2017
- Total number of campus students: 380
- Total number of new students: 170
- First-time freshmen: 130
- Transfers: 40
- Athletes: 47
- New athletic program: Men’s cross country (men’s soccer will compete in Fall 2018)
- Residency: 94 percent from Indiana, the rest are from Illinois, Michigan and Ohio
- Popular majors: Nursing, education, biology and business administration