Welcome, Class of 2021!

Class of 2021 pennantWelcome to Saint Anselm College, and welcome home! Today you have experienced a taste of true Anselmian hospitality. And now you sit looking at the majestic building behind me, an iconic symbol of our historic past. While behind you, among the construction vehicles, is a reminder of the future that lies ahead. Savor this moment, for you are now a proud member of the Class of 2021.

It has been a beautiful day in many respects. Low humidity, a few clouds in the sky, with temperatures in the mid 70’s. It may not quite be King’s Landing, but remember, Winter is Coming!

Many members of our Saint Anselm College family took part in making today a success – from the Orientation Leaders and Resident Assistants, to Student Affairs, Physical Plant, Dining Services and of course the athletic teams who assisted with the move-in process. Please join me in thanking everyone who helped make your first day on campus a great one.

Around you are new teammates, classmates and roommates. Among the 571 new students who will now call Saint Anselm College home are future teachers and nurses, bankers and scientists. There are politicians and police officers, philosophers and theologians. Each of you will spend the next four years – and yes that is the goal – just four short years – shaping your experience. Together, and individually, you will be challenged in the classroom, celebrate victories as Hawks’ student-athletes and fans, become immersed in service learning and volunteering, and ultimately, celebrate your graduation – right here on the college quad – in May of 2021.

As you have probably noted from your time on campus today, it is an exciting time to be arriving at Saint Anselm College! You may have seen our recent rankings from The Princeton Review, in which we garnered fifth-in-the-nation for students most engaged in community service, eighth for best campus food, and 20th for most beautiful campus.

There’s one ranking that really sets Saint Anselm apart from our peers: Eighth happiest students – and yes, part of this may be related to the food. But in all seriousness, we take pride in these rankings.

We are proud to be ranked in the first tier of best national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Payscale.com ranks us 33rd for “best value liberal arts colleges,” in the country and MONEY Magazine places us in the top 25% of return on tuition investment out of all colleges and universities in the United States.

We continue to invest in our infrastructure, highlighted by the Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex, slated for completion this coming spring. But we are also investing in new academic programs, academic spaces and by hiring and retaining an extremely talented group of faculty. We are launching new academic centers, growing our Orvieto program in Italy, and seeking new opportunities for our students each and every day.

The academic rigor of our curriculum is meant to be a challenge. It requires hard work, time management, work-life balance and perseverance. We will work with you to keep you on track, but ultimately it is YOUR responsibility. And parents, we need your help to insure a successful four-year journey. Since we are not allowed to share personal information unless students sign a release, you too must ask the necessary questions. Do you have enough credits to graduate on time? Have you taken the required courses? Will you be walking down this center aisle in four years to receive your diploma? Students, we all want you to succeed. If you hit a stumbling block, and most of you will, we are here to help you. DO NOT WAIT until it is too late.

Your experience outside of the classroom is equally important. I hope you take advantage of the countless opportunities on this campus to volunteer, and serve those less fortunate than yourselves. Take a class with a service learning component, get involved at the Meelia Center for Community Engagement, volunteer in our local community, or travel further from home on a Service & Solidarity mission trip. Be giving of your time and resources.

Make time to have fun. Get involved in clubs and activities. Attend events sponsored by Campus Activities Board, Student Activities, the Multicultural Center, and your Resident Assistants. Participate in an intramural or club sport. Find an on-campus job. Attend academic lectures, participate in events sponsored by your major, visit the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Explore the Manchester community, and all that this wonderful region has to offer: from the ski slopes to our north, to the beaches and Boston less than an hour away, there’s much to see and do. Make this community YOUR community.

In a world full of disruption, we pride ourselves on the stability of our Benedictine education and traditions. And a hallmark of our values is Community and a call to serve the common good. Your time here will prepare you to engage with viewpoints other than your own and to be global citizens who can lead respectful discourse for the common good.  As a community we rise above hurtful rhetoric by embracing the values of the Gospel which teaches us to love one another as God has loved us.

One of the courses you will take as a first-year student is Conversatio, a shared learning experience for every Saint Anselm student. Some of what you will learn in Conversatio is how to communicate – effectively – with one another. We understand and value the use of technology, but we also value face-to-face conversations on this campus. Sometimes we need to turn our heads away from our smartphones and remind ourselves to slow down and talk to one another, respectfully, as we build trust in one another.

Here at Saint Anselm College we collectively care for each other, one person at a time.

With that in mind, there are three things I would ask you to consider as you get settled in over the next few days, and throughout your Saint Anselm College experience:

The first is Friends. It is critically important that you make at least three close friends this semester. These are friends you can lean on when the going gets tough and celebrate with during the best of times. Friends you can spend time with eating, meeting and greeting. Friends with whom you may play a sport, do community service projects, participate in theater or politics. Friends that will last a lifetime.

The second is Family. Please remember to call home. This newfound freedom is a luxury. Do not forget that your family is always there for you. Time passes quickly, especially in college. Thank your family for all they have done to help you along the path that has led you here today. In a few moments it will be time to say goodbye to one another. It marks a moment when you must say three simple words to your parents and loved ones. Three words that we sometimes take for granted. Three words that express your deepest gratitude. They are NOT “Please Send Money.” The three words are I Love You.

Finally, there is Faith. Your faith will be strengthened at Saint Anselm College because our community is rooted in our Benedictine tradition. No matter what your religious denomination may be, find a way to strengthen your own spirituality. Make time to attend liturgies. Participate in retreats, the Anselmian 360 or community service. Take time for personal reflection, perhaps at the Grotto. Treasure the beauty of this campus. Your future will be shaped in large part by the development of your faith – not only in a higher power, but in yourself and in others.

Class of 2021: Welcome and congratulations. Parents and family members: We look forward to seeing you in October for Family Weekend. I look forward to getting to know all of you over the next four years.

In a few moments, students will be directed to join the recessional as we exit the quad and begin the New Student Orientation Program. You have been assigned to an orientation group, identified by letter. Please find the corresponding group, identified by the signs being held by the Orientation Leaders. Ask an OL for assistance, if you are unsure of your group, or where to go. Parents and loved ones: please depart from your seats once the recessional has concluded. We wish you safe travels as you return to a somewhat quieter home.

Now it is time to say good bye to your family. A hug, a kiss, perhaps a fist bump for your siblings, and of course those three very important words.

May God bless the Class of 2021. And may His blessings be upon us all as we embark upon these next four years together.

Welcome Home, Class of 2020

Dr. DiSalvo greets students and families at Move In DayMembers of the Class of 2020, Parents, Relatives and Friends,

Welcome to Saint Anselm College! Today you have experienced a taste of true Anselmian hospitality. There may still be some bags to be unpacked and a poster or two to hang on the walls. But savor this moment, for you are now a proud member of the Class of 2020.

Many members of our Saint Anselm College family took part in making today a success – from the Orientation Leaders and Resident Assistants, to Student Affairs, Physical Plant, Dining Services and the athletic teams who assisted with the move-in process. Please join me in thanking everyone who helped make your first day on campus a great one.

Every day, we are reminded that the world needs more Anselmians. When we turn on the television or look at our smartphones, too often there are news alerts notifying us of turmoil and unrest. Despite the grave challenges facing our nation and our global society, I have great faith and hope for the future, because there are thousands of Saint Anselm graduates working every day to make the world a better place. Soon, you will be counted among their ranks.

Among you are future scientists and police officers, doctors and politicians, business men and women, teachers, scholars and at least a handful who will go on to succeed in careers that have yet to be imagined. For more than 125 years, Saint Anselm College has educated young men and women to lead lives of meaning with creative minds and generous spirits. Now, it is your turn.

You have arrived here as a member of one of the most diverse and academically talented classes that we have ever enrolled at the college. It is my sincere expectation that you will find your time at Saint Anselm to be inclusive, and full of opportunity. Please know that everyone on this platform, and every member of the faculty, staff and monastic community is here to help you succeed.

It is our desire that over the next four years – and yes that is the goal – just four years – you will challenge yourself both in and out of the classroom to grow personally and make our community stronger. So get involved. Join a club. Take risks. And ask for help when and if you need it.

I hope you also take advantage of the countless opportunities on this campus to volunteer and serve others in the best Anselmian tradition. Take a class with a service learning component, get involved at the Meelia Center for Community Engagement and participate in a winter or spring break alternative trip. Be giving of your time and resources.

And don’t be surprised if you become inspired by your peers. Particularly when it comes to acts of selfless giving. As we speak, nearly 50 upperclassmen are walking 130 miles to campus, from Lewiston, Maine to begin the academic year. For the eighteenth year, “Road for Hope” is raising funds and awareness for charities along their route, walking with the belief that “every footstep makes a difference.”

I encourage you to greet these walkers at the main entrance to campus on Saturday afternoon when they complete their eight-day journey.  And this note to mom and dad: don’t be surprised when your son or daughter calls on Sunday and says they want to do the walk next year! Many moments like that will happen  over the next four years. Embrace them.

In a few short days, we will gather for a banquet in Davison Hall. At that time, the class pennant will be raised to the rafters, and the Class of 2020 will take its place in our storied college history. And so begins your collective and individual journey towards earning a Saint Anselm College degree.

This is not an easy task; in fact the academic rigor is meant to be a challenge. It requires hard work, time management, work-life balance and perseverance. We will work with you to keep you on track, but ultimately it is YOUR responsibility. And parents, we need your help to insure a successful four-year journey. Since we are not allowed to share personal information unless students sign a release, you too must ask the necessary questions. Do you have enough credits to graduate on time? Have you taken the required courses? Will you be walking down this center aisle in four years to receive your diploma? Students, we all want you to succeed. If you hit a stumbling block, and most of you will, we are here to help you. DO NOT WAIT until it is too late.

Finally, there are three things I would ask you to keep in mind as you begin your academic studies at Saint Anselm College.

The first is Friends. It is critically important that you make at least three close friends this semester. These are friends you can lean on when the going gets tough and celebrate with during the best of times. Friends you can spend time with eating, meeting and greeting. Friends with whom you may play a sport, do community service projects, participate in theater or politics. Friends that will last a lifetime.

The second is Family. Please remember to call home. Or at least send a text message. This newfound freedom is a luxury. Do not forget that your family is always there for you. Time passes quickly, especially in college. Thank your family for all they have done to help you along the path that has led you here today. In a few moments it will be time to say goodbye to one another. It marks a moment when you must say three simple words to your parents and loved ones. Three words that we sometimes take for granted. Three words that express your deepest gratitude. They are NOT “Please Send Money.” The three words are I Love You.

Finally, there is Faith. Your faith will be strengthened at Saint Anselm College because our community is rooted in our Benedictine tradition. No matter what your religious denomination may be, find a way to strengthen your own spirituality. Make time to attend liturgies. Participate in retreats or community service. Take time for personal reflection. Treasure the beauty of this campus. Your future will be shaped in large part by the development of your faith- not only in a higher power, but in yourself and in others.

I look forward to getting to know each of you over the course of the journey that this class is beginning together today;  in just four short years we will gather again in this very place to celebrate your commencement. Today I congratulate you on your arrival. Starting right now, you now have about 48 months to figure out what comes next!

Class of 2020: Welcome and Congratulations. Be active participants in your collegiate experience. And remember there are three simple things to treasure: Friends, Family and Faith. Parents and family members, we hope to see you at Family Weekend in October. I wish you all Godspeed as you return to a quieter home.

May God Bless the Class of 2020. And may His blessings be upon us all as we embark on these next four years together.

Welcome Home, Class of 2019

Welcome to Saint Anselm College! Today you have experienced a taste of true Anselmian hospitality. There may still be some bags that have to be unpacked and a poster or two to hang on the walls. But savor this moment for you are now a proud member of the Class of 2019. There are many people that took part in making today possible from the orientation leaders to the RA’s, the Dean’s Office to Student Affairs, the grounds crew to dining services and, of course , the athletic teams who assisted with the move-in process. So please join me in thanking everyone who helped make this a special day to remember.

Class of 2019 New Student OrientationThis is indeed a special year to be at Saint Anselm College as we are at the center of political activity in the country. While you were making last minute stopping trips to Target, we were busy hosting the first in the nation presidential forum with 14 candidates just a few weeks ago. There will be more forums as well as policy speeches and debates. This year you will have an opportunity to meet members of the media, political handlers, staffers and yes, the candidates for President of the United States. No other college campus provides their students access like this. And throughout the next calendar year you will be able to show the world what Anselmian hospitality is all about. At Saint Anselm College we make history where history is being made every day.

Over 125 years ago, Abbot Hilary, the college's first president, welcomed students in front of this very building, Alumni Hall, a building constructed twice because it had been destroyed by fire. During the construction of this very plaza a few years ago, bricks were found from the original structure. It was through the perseverance of the first monastic community that this building was reconstructed using many of those remnant bricks. The college then opened and a legacy began.

Your place in our history should not be taken lightly. When we gather together on Saturday evening to raise your class banner you will officially be inducted into the Class of 2019 and you will receive a class pin as a symbol of your Anselmian heritage. At that moment, the 535 bright women and men before me today will become one family, one class, with one mission: to earn a degree at Saint Anselm College by fulfilling all the necessary requirements, and graduate…ON TIME!

This is not an easy task, in fact the academic rigor is meant to be a challenge. It requires hard work, time management, work-life balance and, like the first monks to arrive here, perseverance. We will work with you to keep you on track, but ultimately it is YOUR responsibility. And parents, we need your help to insure a successful four year journey. Since we are not allowed to share personal information unless students sign a release, you too must ask the necessary questions. Do you have enough credits to graduate on time? Have you taken the required courses? Will we see you walking down this center aisle in four years? Students, we all want you to succeed. If you hit a stumbling block, and most of you will, we are here to help you. DO NOT WAIT until it is too late.

As you may know, I am a native of New York City. There are many wonderful places to visit in NYC but my favorite building is The New York Public Library. In front of the main building on Fifth Avenue are two statues of lions. They anchor the building on the left and right side of the main staircase. They are there to protect this hallmark of academia. They were not designed to frighten, but rather to welcome visitors. They look over the crowds that gather to make sure there is peace and order at hand. They guide visitors and create a pathway for learning to take place. They are not just sculptures, they are symbols of the importance of intellectual curiosity and learning in all forms.

These lions also have names. The lion on the left of the building is named Patience and the lion on the right of the building is named Fortitude. Patience and Fortitude. Two words that will become important to you when you begin classes here at Saint Anselm College. You must be patient as the college experience is new. There will be times when you need to take a deep breath. You are navigating new spaces and places and new people. Even the men may need to ask for directions! Be patient as you find your way around campus. Be patient with your roommates and classmates. We are here to help guide you . But only you can control your patience.

Your academic journey will also provide challenges. That is why you need to have fortitude or strength. If you encounter adversity, find the courage to push forward. No matter how well you did in high school, I guarantee you the workload and expectations in college will be more challenging. We want you to grow, to learn, to think. We want to challenge you to do your best. You will rely on your fortitude to excel here at Saint Anselm College. And we are here to help you along the way. You are not alone.

With Patience and Fortitude you will mature into active members of our community. Among you are our future leaders. Some of you will go on to become class presidents, star athletes, politicians, actors and actresses, scientists, nurses, writers, educators, business leaders, innovators just to name a few. You have been selected to come here because each of you brings something unique to our campus community. Today we celebrate your minds and voices, your high schools and hometowns. You can do anything. That is why you were invited to be part of the Class of 2019.

There are three things I would ask you to keep in mind as you begin your academic studies at Saint Anselm College.

The first is Friends. It is critically important that you make at least three close friends this semester. These are friends you can lean on when the going gets tough and celebrate with during the best of times. Friends you can spend time with eating, meeting and greeting. Friends with whom you may play a sport, do community service projects, participate in theater or politics. Friends that will last a lifetime.

The second is Family. Please remember to call home. Or at least send a text message. This newfound freedom is a luxury. Do not forget that your family is always there for you. Time passes quickly, especially in college. Thank your family for all they have done to help you along the path that has led you here today. In a few moments it will be time to say goodbye to one another. It marks a moment when you must say three simple words to your parents and loved ones. Three words that we sometimes take for granted. Three words that express your deepest gratitude. It is NOT Please Send Money. The three words are I Love You.

Finally, there is Faith. Your faith will be strengthened at Saint Anselm College because our community is rooted in our Benedictine tradition. No matter what your religious denomination may be, find a way to strengthen your own spirituality. Make time to attend liturgies. Participate in retreats or community service. Take time for personal reflection. Treasure the beauty of this campus. Your future will be shaped in large part by the development of your faith.

I look forward to getting to know each of you during the course of the next four years. The Class of 2019 is beginning a journey together and in just four short years we will gather again at this very place to celebrate your commencement. Today I congratulate you on your arrival. Newsflash: You now have 48 months to figure out what is next!

In a few minutes the Class of 2019 will be directed to join the recessional as we exit the quad and you begin your academic journey together. But before we leave I ask the students to take a few moments to say good bye to your family. A hug, a kiss, perhaps a fist bump for your siblings and of course those three very important words. So take a few moments right now to say goodbye.

Class of 2019: Welcome and Congratulations. Be active participants in your collegiate experience. And remember with patience and fortitude there are three simple things to treasure: Friends, Family and Faith.  Parents and family members, we will see you during family weekend in October. I wish you all Godspeed as you return to a quieter home.

May God Bless the Class of 2019. And may His blessings be upon us all as we embark on these next four years together. Thank you.