Marketing & Communications  


August 15, 2007 - For the third year in a row, Aquinas College will welcome a record number of freshmen students to campus for the start of the new academic year. The 445 members of the Class of 2011, representing 14 states, arrive on Thursday, August 16 between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. They will take part in a two-day orientation program before classes start Monday, August 20.

This year’s record number of freshmen surpasses the previous record set last year with a class of 428. Also, the addition of 85 transfer students brings the College’s total new student enrollment to more than 530.

Admissions Dean Tom Mikowski attributes the growth of new students “to increased marketing efforts; facility enhancements, such as the new Grace Hauenstein Library, which opened September 2006; an increasing number of prospective students taking advantage of the College’s special AQ Day programs; and Web site enhancements that showcase the College’s academic programs.”

Resident members of the freshmen class who arrive on Thursday morning will be greeted by a contingent of student, faculty and staff volunteers eagerly waiting to assist them in moving their personal belongings from their vehicles into residence halls. The added manpower allows the freshmen to get all their belongings into their rooms within minutes of arriving, giving them the opportunity to be settled-in by mid-afternoon.

Move-in Day each year is more than just settling in a dorm. Parents and students attend a series of afternoon meetings designed to help both during the transition to a life apart from one another. Following those sessions, the families come together for the traditional convocation program at 4 p.m. and a family picnic that begins at 5:30 p.m., Following dinner, parents bid their child adieu and depart for home as members of the Class of 2011 begin a two-day orientation program that helps them adjust to college and life away from their families.

Even last fall, as the College anticipated the arrival of its third consecutive record-sized freshmen class for fall 2007, concerns were mounting over an adequate supply of housing. In order to ease that anticipated crunch, Aquinas signed a two-year agreement to use a vacated residence hall on the nearby Marywood Campus of the Grand Rapids Dominicans. Further, the College is in the process of completing plans for a new student apartment building that will ready for the opening of school in August 2008.

With its third record freshman class, Aquinas expects its total enrollment, encompassing both its undergraduate and graduate programs, to exceed 2,200 students.

The other student residents of the College move into their residence halls over the weekend.