By Victoria O’Connor
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Only a few months past their high school graduation and ready to spread their wings for new beginnings, freshman students from near and far moved in Thursday, Aug. 13, to their new nests.
And to cap off the hectic day, the University of the Incarnate Word’s traditional pinning ceremony took place that evening in Alice McDermott Convocation Center where bagpipers led the new students in and later out for refreshments with their families and friends cheering them on every step of the way.
Earlier, their families helped them move in as resident assistants and other upperclassmen trying to ease the process.
Excited, nervous, and overall exhausted from the eventful day, the freshmen residents began to embrace Cardinal life.
Freshman criminal justice major Zoe Pappas left Las Vegas, Nev., to come here.
“I wanted to start somewhere else and get the ‘away from home’ experience,” Pappas said. “I had gotten an email from Incarnate (Word) and had decided to check out the campus. Before that (visit), it was all schools from California, I loved the community, I loved the teachers, I loved the small campus, and I just loved everything about it. It made me forego all of my California schools, and come here.”
Pappas was not the only one who fell in love with UIW from a campus visit.
“When I did the campus visit I just really liked the feel of the campus,” said Kelia Lopez, a freshman rehabilitation science major from Harlingen, Texas, who wants to be a physical therapist to children.
“The staff was really open to the students, and I really liked how the upperclassmen were helpful with the freshmen and incoming students,” Lopez said. “They were encouraging us to get involved in the school.”
Though UIW offers a diverse field of studies, it is also another kind of field that attracts students to come here.
“I’m from Beeville, Texas, and I came (here) to be on the football team,” freshman Chase Ellerbee said. “It’s a new Division I school and they’re kind of coming up as a new Baylor. They also have a really cool medicine program, and they are building a med school here in 2017 from what I’ve heard.”
Resident assistants helped the freshmen find their new spaces. Karime Martinez, a junior, said she was impressed with the variety of majors and their potential.
“From what we’ve seen, the students have a lot of great potential,” Martinez said. “Their majors are biology, nursing, music, all these different things. I think it’s great their ambition is so strong, even in the beginning as freshmen.
“We want to make them feel welcome and not pick on the freshman,” Martinez added. “Some are coming away from home. We care to make this transition as comfy as possible because we know how hard it is to start college. UIW really tries to make this community like a home.”
As everyone came together to make move in-day a success, the real welcoming committee was introduced as new freshmen attended the pinning ceremony brought together by administrators, faculty and staff. Key speeches came from senior English major Olivia Almirudis and UIW’s longtime president, Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr. Dr. Renee T. Moore, dean of campus life, led the students through a pledge ceremony. Then the student lined up to be pinned with UIW’s emblem. The indoor ceremony ended with a prayer as the students held lit candles.
Freshman Ellie Dabrowski, an interdisciplinary studies major from Malibu, Calif., said she was impressed with ceremony.
“It set the start of the school year on a high note because they made you feel so welcome to the community,” Dabrowski said. “It showed how religious the school is, how professional the school is, but also (how) confident they were in their students and how open they were to help. I really enjoyed Dr. Agnese’s speech and the whole process with the candles.”