Caldwell, N.J., Aug. 27, 2018 – Caldwell University greeted its largest freshman class ever with nearly 500 students on Aug. 27.
At honors convocation, President Nancy Blattner welcomed the class of 2022. “Today begins a momentous period in your life because you are beginning your college experience.” She spoke of the four foundational pillars of Caldwell’s Catholic Dominican tradition — prayer, study, community and mission or service—and how each of those will come to have different meanings for students over the course of their time on campus. In encouraging students to engage in volunteerism she said, “Part of our institutional mission is to graduate students who will contribute to a just society. Giving back to others—particularly those less fortunate than yourselves—is one way to do so. “
Incoming students received a pendant with the Caldwell University shield. Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president for student life, explained the meaning behind the various aspects the coat of arms on the pendant reflecting the university’s Catholic Dominican history. The motto “Sapientia et Scientia”, she explained, means “wisdom and knowledge” and is derived from the invocation of the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The new students endorsed the Mission and Core Values statement of Caldwell.
Dr. Barbara Chesler, vice president for academic affairs, recognized the dean’s list scholars from both semesters of 2017-18 who were sitting in the front and she encouraged the new students to make being in that spot next year their goal.
Student Government President Rose Ann Dragonetti ’19 welcomed the new class and Bryan Canales ’22 led the Class of 2022 prayer. The Dominican Blessing was led by Sister Joanne Beirne, O.P.
Music was provided by the university drumline director by music faculty Professor Rebecca Vega and John Piopol.
Welcome Weekend featured a number of activities including a President’s barbeque, a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, and Music Under the Stars on the Mother Joseph Residence Hall Lawn. Students, parents, family and friends gathered for a new student liturgy on Saturday, which was celebrated by Father Andrew Njoku.
The Office of International Students greeted the incoming international students and hosted a number of events including a visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and a forum on “Why Mission Matters”. Campus Ministry hosted the Freshmen FIRST Program which stands for “Freshmen Immersion into Reflection, Service, and Tradition and is offered to incoming freshmen who are interested in engaging in their faith on campus and getting a jump start in learning about the Dominican heritage. They volunteered at the organization “First Friends”, which assists detained immigrants and asylum seekers, St. John’s soup kitchen in Newark, and Our Lady Help of Christians in East Orange.