By EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH
During a candlelight ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 23, the freshman class proceeded down College Walk and made their way to Ball Circle.
Nervous, insecure and uncertain freshmen were ready to celebrate during and after the ceremony. After the students reached Ball Circle, underclassmen along with upperclassmen raised their candles in the air in a showing of unity on campus.
President Hurley spoke during the ceremony and brought up a social media campaign which the University started 18 months ago and students were asked to vote on a photo which would launch the campaign.
According to Hurley, it was important to stress the uniqueness of each new student at UMW.
“All of you are unique,” Hurley addressed to the student body. “You come from different backgrounds, cultures… you think, feel and love each other differently.”
“What makes you different is what makes you stand out, and you should be proud of your differences,” Hurley said.
Hurley showed students the torch of knowledge on stage, symbolizing core values at UMW, including intellectual curiosity, honor, service, giving back and treating other students and faculty respectfully.
Upperclassmen students, in addition to freshmen students, were excited for the new students and the upcoming semester.
For instance, junior communication and digital studies major David Mercer noticed that the freshmen students that he has spoken with have been more eager to participate in campus programs.
“The freshmen are looking to be more active on campus, and that’s a really good thing,” Mercer said.
Tiffany Osuanah, senior business administration major, led a group of freshmen students for orientation and expressed their excitement for the new students on campus.
“We heard we’re supposed to have more freshmen this year than any other, but that’s exciting,” Osuanah said.
With the new University Center and new semester, UMW students, including the freshman class, will experience changes on campus together.