Saint Mary’s welcomed 296 students to campus from around the region, the state, the nation, and the world for the 178th school year during Welcome Week 2019, August 20-25. It was a week of back to school excitement that featured move-in and registration day, orientation meetings, assemblies, and social activities.
Returning students were happy to return to campus and settle into campus life after summer vacation, and new students arrived eager to make new friends, meet their teachers and advisors, and begin their Saint Mary’s journey.
Orientation programming covered every aspect of school life, from academics to athletics to the arts to health and wellness to boarding and day student life and more. New international students and families enjoyed a special dinner Wednesday evening in Smedes-Emory Parlor to meet their local host families and advisors. The entire community gathered in Chan-Poyner Hall for a family welcome dinner on Thursday evening.
Weekend activities for students included the Saints Soiree on Friday evening, which featured game trucks, laser tag in the Hannah Smith Quad, popcorn, cotton candy, sno-cones, and dancing in Smedes-Emory Parlor. On Saturday night, the dorms competed in raucous and festive games in Bacon Gym. Sunday was a day to rest and get organized for the first week of classes, with outings to Target for school and dorm supplies.
Students and teachers jumped eagerly into the school year on the first day of classes, Monday, August 26. The opening academic assembly in Eliza Battle Pittman Auditorium helped set the tone for a year of learning, growing, and exploring in the classrooms and beyond. Head of School Brendan O’Shea and Dean of Teaching and Learning Leslie Owen welcomed students to the annual convocation, as all faculty were introduced by department. Instructor of English Alison Chernin, recipient of the 2019 John U. Tate Joy of Teaching Award, delivered an inspiring keynote address. The assembly concluded with the singing of our School Hymn.
This year’s school-wide theme, chosen by the Executive Student Government Association officers, is, “Do Big Things.” A world of possibilities, hopes, and dreams in pursuit of that goal awaits each young woman in the year ahead. You’ve got this, Saint Mary’s girls!