Carthage greets 800-plus promising new Firebirds
In fall 2022, Carthage welcomes more than 810 new Firebirds to campus.
A four-day New Student Orientation began Sept. 3, helping the incoming class and their families to embrace the transition. A community welcome event in Tarble Arena set the tone.
First, President John Swallow introduced the new arrivals to some of Carthage’s traditions (like painting Kissing Rock) and local celebrities (like his basset hound, Watson). Then he tasked them with joining thousands of alumni as “practical heroes” in their communities.
“When somebody needs to roll up their sleeves and get things done,” President Swallow said, “that is what I want Carthaginians to be.”
As of Sept. 1, the entering class included more than 740 freshmen and about 75 transfer students. Enrollment figures are finalized in early October each year.
The newcomers represent 20 U.S. states and nine different countries. Roughly 22 percent indicated they’re the first in their families to attend college.
As president of Student Government, Tyler Kelly ’24 empathized with students who endured remote learning at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, he urged them to shed those socially isolating habits and make the most of their time at Carthage.
“Your tuition does not pay for guaranteed experiences,” he said. “It pays for opportunities.”
Measured by GPA and test scores, the Class of 2026 is one of the strongest Carthage has seen. These students’ top academic areas of interest include nursing, psychology, management, marketing, criminal justice, and education.
Shannon Brennan, a popular faculty member in the English Department, assured them it’s essential to “fail and fail hard” on the road to success in life.Speakers advised students to leave their comfort zone whenever possible. Professor
“We’ve got your back,” she said. “So go try the thing that’s hardest for you, stay alive, and then do it again.”
Professor Julius Crump, who teaches religion and has a leadership role in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, offered a soothing message for the families adjusting to a new stage of parenthood: “Trust the work that you’ve put in.”
Dozens of returning Carthage students work as orientation leaders, conducting group sessions to break the ice and get the first-year students off and running. Even after classes start Sept. 7, new and returning students alike are invited to a series of year-opening Kick-Off Days events.