“We Have an App for That” was the theme on Friday, Aug. 19, when members of Xavier’s Class of 2015 moved into their residence hall rooms. These students are starting their Xavier careers as the University opens a new four-tower residence hall and dining complex, the third new building to open on campus in two years.
The Xavier Move Crew, in bright neon T-shirts, helped the new students move into their rooms on Friday. The Move Crew of more than 200 upperclass students, ROTC, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers welcomed new students as their cars approached the residence halls. The volunteers unloaded the cars and carried their belongings up to their rooms.
To reduce congestion, Xavier offered an early move-in option on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. for first-year students in Brockman, Kuhlman and Husman Halls. Young alumni served as the Move Crew for the evening move-in.
As of mid-August, 1,137 students make up the Class of 2015 out of a total 9,306 students who applied for admission. Classes begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22, and the first full day of classes is on Tuesday, Aug. 23.
About 90% of this year’s freshmen are living on campus, among the more than 2,330 undergraduates who are living in campus housing this year. With the opening of the new residence hall for 535 students, Xavier now has five residence halls and five apartment buildings with 2,380 beds.
The Class of 2015 is 46 percent men and 54 percent women, continuing a trend of more women attending college in the U.S. than men. Forty-eight percent of students are from outside Ohio and represent 45 states and 10 countries; 18 percent are students of color; and 22 percent are the first in their families to attend college.
Freshmen begin Manresa, the University’s orientation program, on Friday after those living on campus have moved in and commuter students have checked in. Manresa begins with a welcome to students and their families by President Michael J. Graham, S.J., in a community celebration at the Cintas Center. Manresa refers to a Spanish town where St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of Xavier’s religious order, the Jesuits, reflected on his life, much like the process of reflection new students experience as they begin their college careers.
During Manresa, students meet in small groups to discuss finances, safety, diversity, academics and service. They also discuss this summer’s required reading, A Pearl in the Storm, by Toni Murden McClure. The 2009 book is an account of the author’s journey as the first woman to row a boat alone across the ocean. McClure will be on hand to talk with students about her book.
The week of welcome continues even after classes begin on Monday afternoon with multicultural gatherings, athletic events, specialty foods, films and other activities. For more on Manresa call 513-745-3662 or visit the website.
Returning students will find a number of new developments on campus. In addition to the new residence hall, the new James E. Hoff, S.J., Dining Commons seats up to 700 people and replaces the Hoff Marketplace in the Cintas Center. The statue of Fr. Hoff, which was located by the Cintas Center, was moved to the new complex.
In addition to several food stations, a bakery and a built-in stone hearth pizza oven, a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine lets students create their own drinks. The entire complex is 245,000 square feet and is the second largest building on campus after the Cintas Center. It includes a green roof over the dining commons and was built to LEED silver standards. See a short video tour at the dining hall website and download a copy of the latest Construction Dish newsletter.
Supporting Xavier’s focus on sustainability, all students who purchase a meal plan receive an eco-box, provided by Chartwells Higher Education. They will be distributed to students during the first week of class. Students can exchange their used eco-box for a clean one at their next visit to the Hoff Dining Commons. This eliminates last year’s Styrofoam take-out containers and removes more than 30,000 items from landfills each school year.
Other green initiatives include the elimination of trays from the dining hall and 100% compostable to-go cups, which replaced Styrofoam cups last year. Xavier is in the process of hiring a sustainability coordinator to oversee efforts under the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.
Another change this year is the addition of two new undergraduate majors. Actuarial science in the College of Arts and Sciences is an interdisciplinary major that emphasizes mathematical, statistical, computational and business knowledge for the field of identifying and managing risk. And the College of Social Sciences, Health, and Education is offering a new undergraduate degree in health services administration. Xavier’s master’s degree in health services administration has been ranked No. 1 in the nation twice in the past three years.
Also, the project to widen Dana Avenue and install new gas piping continues. When the project is complete, an esplanade will extend down the middle of Dana from Interstate 71 to Victory Parkway. A new rotary on Ledgewood Avenue near Bellarmine Chapel has been built in preparation for an 11-foot statue of St. Francis Xavier atop an 11-foot pedestal. The statue is being constructed by local sculptor Tom Tsuchiya, who created the statues of Fr. James E. Hoff and of D'Artagnan outside the Cintas Center, and of former Reds players at Great American Ballpark. The statue of St. Francis Xavier will be installed in December.
And finally, new science labs were installed in Albers and Logan Halls while upgrades were made to Joseph, Hailstones, McDonald Library, Gallagher Student Center, University Apartments, Buenger Residence Hall, Sycamore House and Cintas Center over the summer. New water lines were installed beneath the Academic Mall to the new Central Utility Plant on Dana Avenue, and the old plant facing Victory Parkway was demolished.