Members of the Bison Leader Team, donned in bright yellow polo shirts, kicked off the welcome ceremony for 302 new undergraduate students and their families on August 24 at the Field House.

President Hurwitz introduced First Lady Vicki Hurwitz and congratulated the Class of 2015, reminding them that they are the best of the best-and to thank all those who helped make the transition to their freshman year a smooth one.

Dr. Hurwitz reminded parents that, even in this age of technology where people can contact each other within minutes, to remember that even freshmen still love getting things in the mail.

“Don’t forget to send them cookies!” Hurwitz joked.

With Gallaudet’s impressive array of academic offerings and extracurricular activities, the Class of 2015 was reminded of the good choice they made in coming to Gallaudet. “Studying is important, but how many of you came here purely for academics?” Provost Stephen Weiner asked. His question produced only a smattering of hands. “Don’t forget to have a good time and get to know each other!”

Student Body Government president and vice-president Dylan Hinks and Derrick Behm, respectively, gave the Class of 2015 a warm welcome. “I wish I was a freshman again,” Hinks said. “Everyone says that, but I really do. There’s so much I wish I had done. So next time you have a choice to make, ask yourself this: Why not?”

The Class of 2015 includes six international students and 90 transfer students, according to David Reekers, coordinator of recruitment in the Office of Admissions. In addition, 36 attended the New Signers’ Program, 51 attended the Academic Success Program, and 40 students are enrolled in the English Language Institute. Data also reveals that most of the students are from Maryland (36)-followed by California (32), Texas and New York (22), Florida and Virginia (18 each), and Ohio (14).

Also present to welcome the Class of 2015 were Cesar Ayala, Class of 2012, and alumna Storm Smith, who performed the “Bison Song”; Faculty Senate Chair and professor of biology and general studies Jane Dillehay; Director of Campus Activities and Commuter Programs Mary Lott; and College of Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Technologies Dean Isaac Agboola.

At the end of the ceremony, Bison Leader Scott Keller returned to the stage to remind the new students to keep an eye out for people on campus wearing a bright yellow polo shirt if in need of help-they’re everywhere!, he exclaimed.

– Tanya Sturgis, student writer

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