Aided by the Xavier Move Crew, members of the largest freshman class in Xavier’s history began moving into their residence halls on Wednesday, Aug. 21. Hundreds of upper-class students, faculty and staff volunteers greeted each new student as they arrived in their cars, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Cheering and dancing to loud music, Move Crew members whisked the students' belongings up to their rooms.
The first full day of classes is Monday, Aug. 26. Returning upper-class students move into their on-campus rooms through the weekend. Xavier has five residence halls and five apartment buildings providing housing for more than 2,300 students, including nearly 1,200 first-year students living in campus housing.
This year’s Class of 2017 has nearly 1,300 members—the biggest freshman class in Xavier history. The previous largest class was in fall 2009 when 1,174 students enrolled at Xavier. This year’s freshman class will be the fifth consecutive year of classes with more than 1,000 new students. They are also the first freshman class to be part of the Big East athletic conference.
Members of the Class of 2017 were chosen from nearly 11,000 applicants, one of the largest applicant pools ever. The class continues the national trend of more women than men attending college with 54 percent male and 46 percent female students. It is also highly diverse with 24 percent African-American, Hispanic, Asian or other, and 22 percent of the class are the first in their families to attend college.
More than half the class—54 percent—are from outside Ohio. Approximately 25 percent of the class are from national big-city markets in Boston, Chicago and Denver. Xavier has seen dramatic increases in enrollment in major market states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri and Illinois compared to past classes.
After a 3:45 p.m. welcome on Wednesday from President Michael J. Graham, S.J., during a community celebration with their families in the Cintas Center, students begin the orientation program known as Manresa. Named after a town in Spain that is central to the founding of the Jesuit order, Manresa orientation includes informational programs and entertainment, offering students the chance to get to know each other, meet faculty and learn about life at Xavier. Manresa programming continues each day through Sunday.
During Manresa, students also discuss the required summer reading assignment. This year’s book is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Students were asked to submit a written assignment after reading the book and are to participate in discussions about the book with Xavier faculty. More information about Manresa is available at the Manresa website.
Manresa is followed by a “Week of Welcome,” a full week of free events for new and returning students. Free food, music, movies, games, a trip to a Reds game, T-shirts, sports activities and other events are offered to all students by dozens of clubs and departments sponsoring events throughout the week. For a list of events, visit the Week of Welcome website.
Among several new developments on campus this fall are the addition of five new majors that bring the total number of majors offered to 88. The new undergraduate majors are Theatre, Gender and Diversity, and three Sustainability programs: Land, Farming and Community; Economics, Sustainability and Society; and Sustainability Economics & Management.