Welcome, Class of 2016, One of McDaniel’s Largest Incoming Classes
One of the largest incoming classes in McDaniel’s history, the 445 members of the Class of 2016 arrived on the Hill Aug. 22 for a five-day orientation to get to know campus, professors, the president and each other before classes began on Aug. 27.
The Class of 2016 was selected from the largest number of applications ever with 3,556, the first time over 3,000, and includes a record number of students of color and the largest group of first-year students to ever join the Honors Program. First-generation college students account for 39 percent of the class.
The 205 men and 240 women that make up the Class of 2016 come from 23 states and five countries, including Australia, Ecuador, Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore. Three world travelers, Faizan Nael, Kaden Phillips and Andrew Roberts, came to McDaniel from Singapore after discovering the College from the book, “Colleges that Change Lives.” Nael and Phillips will play soccer and Roberts is on the football team.
Throughout the morning of Aug. 22, a procession of jam-packed cars winded down West Main Street and entered campus from the new entrance and roadway. The students, eager to begin their journey at McDaniel, were first met by Trustee and Board Chair Martin K.P. Hill before descending on their new homes in Rouzer, Whiteford or Daniel MacLea halls where President Roger N. Casey and teams of students, alumni, deans and trustees were there pitching in to help with move-in.
Dexter Beane, father of first-year student Daniel Beane of Bel Air, Md., posted on the McDaniel College: Class of 2016 Families Facebook page: “Dr. Casey helped with my son’s things (too) and stopped by later to say hello. I’d be wiling to bet that there aren’t many college presidents out there who will don jeans and a tee and carry students’ belongings to their rooms! A wonderful experience all around — McDaniel really has it together with freshmen move in!”
The students participated in many time-honored traditions, including Convocation, which represents the formal beginning of the academic year. President Casey opened the ceremony by reciting the song lyrics to Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song, “Call Me Maybe,” and, in his classic style, many other pop culture references were heard throughout — Ryan Seacrest, Harry Potter, will.i.am, Kanye West and the Kardashians. He also cited his favorite contemporary philosopher, Eminem, as he told the students to “take a little risk, to risk failure even, to be curious, to think critically, and excel. Now is your chance to shine.”
Every first-year student then took a turn at ringing Old Main bell loud and clear to signal their arrival as new students before saying their goodbyes to their families and guests.
And as the sun went down, students met with classmates at Alumni Hall and walked to Ward Memorial Arch where they lit a candle and walked through the Arch to symbolize the College’s original 1867 educational mission of bringing students “out of darkness into light.”