Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  August 2019  >  August 18, 2019  >  ‘This is so fun’: Creighton’s Newest Students Arrive on Campus
‘This is so fun’: Creighton’s Newest Students Arrive on Campus

Creighton University's newest flock of Bluejays arrived amid the thunder of drums and the trumpeting of horns.

And maybe a '90s tune or two when the Pep Band took a break.

While the speakers blared, Creighton's new freshman students pulled onto campus, one carload after another Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17. Each vehicle was promptly swarmed by packs of volunteers in blue T-shirts, who whisked away luggage as the bemused families stood by.

"This is so fun," one bleary-eyed student said, watching as her things were rolled up the ramp toward Deglman Hall Saturday morning.

Each year, the move-in experience announces the approaching academic year in a whirlwind of Creighton spirit. Arriving families barely have to lift a finger with dozens of student volunteers trained and ready to welcome them to campus with a free move into the residence halls.

"We're excited to give back to our school where so much has been given to us," said Joe Thibodeau, a sophomore volunteer who stood with others at Deglman Circle waiting for families to arrive late Friday afternoon.

"It's also a sentimental experience, remembering my own move-in," replied Natalie Schwartzenberger, another sophomore volunteer.

As Schwartzenberger, Thibodeau and their fellow volunteers waited, Creighton Provost Thomas Murray, PhD, greeted them, telling them he'd prayed for good weather.

"If we get something heavy (to carry), we'll come find you," one volunteer told Murray.

Move-in 2019 Jokes aside, many of the more than 160 volunteer movers didn't seem daunted by the possibility of hauling heavy appliances into the residence halls. As the cars began to trickle in, each new refrigerator was accompanied by chants and hollers from the movers, who relished the challenge.

"I am excited to move a fridge," Thibodeau said. "My calves are going to be mooing for sure."

The families, for their part, appreciated the help.

"I'm so excited that all I have to do is go upstairs and unpack," said Denise Kenny, whose son, freshman Sean Kenny, moved into Deglman Friday. The Kennys, arriving from Chicago, have another son enrolled in college elsewhere.The move-in experience, Denise said, doesn't compare.

This year's freshman class is the third largest in Creighton history. With about 1,075 new students, the class only trails behind recent records set in 2018 and 2017.

"With the addition of these larger classes, strong student retention rates and robust graduate and professional enrollment, Creighton will also rival overall enrollment records achieved as well. Great things are happening at the Hilltop," said Mary Chase, EdD, vice provost for Enrollment Management and University Planning.

Of the new students, 213 hail from Nebraska. Other states with strong representation include Minnesota (137), Colorado (103) and Iowa (84). About 40% of new freshmen, including 23 international students from 16 countries, are coming to Creighton from more than 400 miles away.

The academic profile of the incoming class places it among the top Catholic universities in the country with 4,000 or more undergraduate students. Thirty-five percent of the students rank in the top 10% of their high school class.

The new class includes more than 290 Heider College of Business students and more than 150 nursing students. More than half have expressed interest in studying a preprofessional program after completing their undergraduate studies.

A quarter of the students have a family member who attended Creighton; 57% are Catholic; more than half of the class attended a public high school; and 10% graduated from a Jesuit high school.

Chandler Fong, a new freshman moving into Swanson Hall, said his experience at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas convinced him that Creighton would be a good fit. He plans to study biology in preparation for medical school.

Fong said he was excited, and also a little nervous, to begin his college career as he waited with his mom, Christine, for his father to pull the car around.

Some combination of eagerness and apprehension seemed universal among Fong's peers, including Clayton Sapp from Columbia, Missouri. Sapp said he was lured to Creighton by its proximity to home and by the Heider College of Business, where he plans to earn his degree.

Perhaps it was reassuring to the nervous new freshmen to see not only their fellow students, but the highest levels of University leadership, embrace them as part of the Creighton family.

"I am excited to welcome the newest class of Bluejays into the Creighton family," said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, who greeted families Friday evening. "With this academically impressive entering class, we continue our tradition of attracting high-quality students from across the nation and around the globe. I am eager to witness their journey as they are enriched by and contribute to the Creighton experience, and as they share their gifts and talents, both as students and then as graduates, with the larger community in Omaha and points beyond."


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