Largest-ever incoming class spreads its wings
Holding New Student Orientation activities in person once again, Carthage welcomed a record-setting fall 2021 incoming class.
Spread across three days, the orientation schedule filled the Labor Day weekend. After moving into the residence halls, students gathered with their families for one of two community welcome sessions Sept. 4 in the TARC Field House.
“The next four years will transform you in a way you never thought possible,” Ashley Hanson, associate vice president of admissions, told the newcomers. “You are now Carthaginians.”
Heading toward the official enrollment count on Oct. 1, the incoming class remains on pace for an all-time best 850 — with 765 freshmen and 85 transfer students enrolled as of Sept. 1. They come from 26 U.S. states and six foreign countries.
The diversity of the student body continues to rise. About 31% of this fall’s incoming students report a race other than white.
Jordyn Kaplan ’22, this year’s student body president, encouraged students to take advantage of the many opportunities to learn and grow on campus. Besides Student Government, she’s active in Pre-Health Club and multiple NCAA Division III sports: track and field and swimming and diving.
“My involvement will look different than the ways you get involved, and that’s OK,” said Jordyn, a neuroscience major from Parker, Colorado. “Each one of us will find ourselves in and part of a community that makes sense for us.”
As someone who stood in their shoes just a year ago, Ayanna Crenshaw ’24 offered the freshmen some tips. She advised them to set their own goals for the first year — “not what a coach, a parent, or TikTok wants you to do.”
Sharing some hard lessons she learned as a young student-athlete, Ayanna urged the new students to ride out the ups and downs — and to learn from both.
“You won’t always make the right choice. We all slip up in life,” she said. “Hold yourself accountable for your actions, then show yourself some grace.”
Dozens of returning Carthage students worked as orientation leaders, conducting small group sessions to break the ice and get the first-year students off and running. Larger orientation sessions focused on career development, academic support services, campus safety, and belonging.
Although classes start Sept. 7, a series of Carthage Kick-off Days events continue late into the month. Both new and returning students are invited to participate.