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Caldwell University welcomed the Class of 2019 with a number of events during Welcome Weekend Aug. 29-31.

The activities included Move-In Day, a barbeque hosted by President Nancy Blattner, a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, a Mass and the new student convocation ceremony.

Dr. Barbara Chesler, vice president for academic affairs, introduced the convocation ceremony, officially welcoming the Class of 2019.

President Nancy Blattner told the students that they were beginning “a momentous period” in their lives. She encouraged them to learn about the rich history and heritage that has existed on campus for the past 75 years.  “Caldwell University embraces the Catholic Dominican tradition, and as such, we are committed to the four foundational pillars of prayer, study, community and mission or service.”  She stressed that it is her role to provide the support systems that will allow them to learn and graduate from Caldwell University and it is their role to come to class prepared, to engage their faculty members and to visit the staff members who are committed to them.   “Here at Caldwell, the faculty, staff and administration care about you, about your education, about your success and about your future. “

Over the next four years, Dr. Blattner said, “You are invited to reflect upon who you are as a person, your role in the world, and the dignity that you possess as a unique individual created by God. “

“While you are at Caldwell, you will be treated with dignity, and we ask that you treat others—your faculty members, the staff, your fellow students—with the dignity that both you and they deserve,” she said.

The freshman and transfer students were given a pendant with the university’s seal and invited to sign the mission and core values statement of Caldwell University.

Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president for student life, explained the significance of the university seal on the pendant which includes the motto “Sapientia et Scientia” which means “wisdom and knowledge” and is derived from the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The university was founded by the Sisters of St. Dominic of the American Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “This pendant is given to you to emphasize the need for today’s student to be involved and to be a leader in today’s world.  May you display this coat of arms proudly throughout your relationship with Caldwell University,” said Sister Kathleen.

Dr. Chesler advised the students in times of difficulty to come back to the pendant and remember what it stands for in their lives.

Shyam Sharma, student government association president, spoke of the core values particularly the aspect of community. “Over the next few years, you’ll see yourself and your peers grow personally and professionally in ways you never thought possible.  The first step is to go through this journey with an open mind.”  He encouraged them to “try new things, whether that comes in the form of a global service trip, trying a new class or even the fusion entrees in the dining hall.”

The invocation was given by Dr. Virginia Rich, professor of business; the Dominican Blessing was led by Father Al Berner, chaplain;  the prayer for the Class of 2019 was read by freshman JosephSeverino; the music was provided by Dr. Nan Childress-Orchard, chair in the Department of Music.

Crystal Lopez, director of residence life, said the Office of Residence Life was excited to welcome the new freshmen and transfer students to the “Caldwell Home”.  She appreciated the assistance of the campus community with move-in. “It is wonderful to see so many returning students, faculty, staff, and administration volunteer their time.  In my opinion that is what is so special about this place—it becomes a family and a home.  From the looks of it, it’s going to be a fantastic year.”