Get involved. Go to class. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Those were some points of wisdom Salisbury University Student Government President Evan Miller shared with members of the Class of 2018 during SU’s official welcome ceremony. SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, on stage with her executive staff, commended the nearly 1,200 freshmen (out of more than 8,700 applicants) for having the highest grade point average in SU history.
While some, such as those in the Powerful Connections program, arrived early, most students moved in Thursday, August 21. They spent the day meeting campus and community organizations during “Survival of Arrival,” and attending orientations and fun events including picnics and an ice cream social. The day closed with some tearful goodbyes as parents left their sons and daughters to begin what, for most, would be their first time living away from home.
At the annual Fall Convocation the next morning, students learned the Alma Mater and heard from Dr. Joseph Herman, director of the pancreatic multidisciplinary clinic at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, who recalled his time as an SU freshman in 1990.
After pledging to adhere to the SU Promise to connect learning with living, demonstrate personal and academic integrity, respect diverse groups and individuals, and bring honor to themselves and the University, students divided into groups to discuss this year’s New Student Reader, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
The book chronicled the life of the woman whose cells — known as “HeLa” in the medical community — have been used extensively in research since her death in the early 1950s. Members of the Lacks family spoke with students and signed copies of the book. They also participated in a public question-and-answer session that drew many from the community.
Classes officially began on Monday, August 25.