NEW YORK— More than 1,500 freshmen have crossed the country—and the globe—and are settling in at the University they say already feels like home after a successful move-in day on Aug. 28. Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, spent the day traveling to each of the University’s three campuses to calm parents that he said might be caught between “pride” and “panic,” and to remind students to make the most of the next four years.
“You will be challenged and nurtured to overcome limitations that you wrongly think you have,” Father McShane told a standing room-only crowd in the Leonard Theatre at Fordham Preparatory School on the Rose Hill campus. “Never be satisfied with mediocrity—be hungry for knowledge and bothered by injustice.”
Father McShane also reminded students to take advantage of all the benefits that go along with attending classes in the capital of the world. “Students at other schools read history—our students walk off campus and see history,” he said. “If you learn from New York, you’ll be prepared to take on and change the world.”
Coming to New York from the Lonestar State, freshman Sarah Weynand said she is excited about attending college in Manhattan, where she can see Broadway shows and meet people from all over the world. Weynand, who scored a perfect 1,600 on the SAT, graduated from Incarnate Word High School in San Antonio, Texas, and is enrolled in the honors program at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC).
Here’s a look at some other dynamic students in the class of 2009:
Chris Araujo, the first of his siblings to attend college, will be commuting to Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. Araujo is a graduate of Hackley High School in Tarrytown, N.Y., where he was a member of the Unity Club—an organization that he said aims to “bring minorities together.” He said one thing that attracted him to Fordham was the diverse array of the more than 100 student clubs and organizations on campus, which give him an opportunity to continue the efforts he started at his high school.
Tara Nelson (FCLC), from Granite Bay, Calif., was selected as a presidential scholar after earning near-perfect SAT scores. She said the Big Apple was “much bigger” than she expected and “very different than the California suburbs,” but, coupled with the Fordham education, it is indeed the place she will be happy to call “home” for the next four years.
Naujeet Sandhu (FCRH), also the first of her siblings to attend college, will be commuting from Queens, N.Y. A graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School, Sandhu, whose first name means “New Victory,” aspires to one day enter the corporate world. She said the program offered at Fordham’s College of Business Administration made the University her first choice.
Fordham’s incoming freshman class reflects the increasing geographic diversity of the University’s student body, with students coming from as far away as Taiwan, South Africa, Bangladesh and the U.K. This year’s incoming class was also selected from among the largest undergraduate applicant pool in the University’s history. Fordham received 15,200 applications, which is a 7 percent increase over last year and four times larger than it was in the 1990s.
“This has been one of the most competitive admissions cycles in the University’s history,” said John Buckley, assistant vice president of Undergraduate Enrollment. The mean SAT score as of Aug. 17 was 1209, up from 1187 last year. Additionally, 35 percent of the incoming class graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, 74 percent graduated in the top 25 percent.