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Dave O'Connor '14 (right) helps freshmen move in as an orientation volunteer.

New Academic Year Begins with Move-in Day for Freshmen

The 1,043 students in the Class of 2017 — the largest class to enroll at Providence College in five years — will move in to residence halls on Wednesday, August 28, in preparation for the start of classes on Tuesday, September 3.

The class is the College’s most diverse, with students of color comprising 17.4 percent. Thirteen percent are first-generation college students. About 130 students were accepted through the Early Decision process, which allows prospective students to identify PC as their first-choice school and commit to attend if accepted.

The students’ institutional G.P.A. was 3.37 percent, with 36 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class. While 44 percent are undecided about a major, among those set on a course of study, the most popular subjects are the business fields of accountancy, finance, management, and marketing; biology; psychology; political science; and secondary education.

Community Service

Some freshmen arrived on campus early to participate in community service.

Through the Urban Action program, 150 freshmen spruced up Neutaconkanut Hill Park in Providence (pictured left) and worked on projects throughout the Smith Hill neighborhood, including Candace Street Park, Smith Hill Community Library, and Smith Street. They were supervised by 30 upperclassmen. The program, offered through the Office of Student Activities-Involvement-Leadership (SAIL), is in its 23rd year.

Forty freshmen joined the second annual FaithWorks service immersion program offered through Campus Ministry. With assistance from 10 upperclassmen, the freshmen volunteered at Emmanuel House, a shelter for the homeless; the St. Martin de Porres Center, a senior center; and two offices of the Diocese of Providence — the Office of Life and Family, and the Office of Immigration and Refugee Services. They also toured the Rhode Island Department of Corrections to learn about the chaplaincy ministry.

Common Reading Book

For the Common Reading Program, freshmen and transfer students read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Doubleday, 2003) by British author Mark Haddon. The book is narrated by a 15-year-old boy with behavioral difficulties that resemble Asperger syndrome. Its title was inspired by a Sherlock Holmes story.

As part of New Student Orientation, which takes place from August 28 to September 2, students will meet in groups led by faculty and staff to discuss the book. In addition, Dr. Licia Carlson, associate professor of philosophy, will speak about “Disability, Diversity, and Community” during the Academic Convocation on September 4.  

It’s the third year that the campus community has joined in the Common Reading Program. Previous selections were Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Houghton Mifflin, 2005) and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown Publishers, 2010).

New Faculty Added

There are 24 new faculty members this year, including 10 tenure-track faculty; two in military science; and 12 adjunct. Among the adjunct faculty are three alumni: Alison J. Espach ’07, adjunct assistant professor of English; Brian J. Lamoureux ’94, adjunct assistant professor of management; and Dionne A. Nickerson ’13G, adjunct instructor in marketing.  

Campus Construction

When upperclassmen move in to campus on Monday, September 2, they’ll note many changes after a summer of construction.

The most significant is the completion of the new Ruane Center for the Humanities, the College’s signature academic building that is now home to the Development of Western Civilization Program, Liberal Arts Honors Program, and the English and history departments.

The campus was made more pedestrian-friendly with the elimination of a road that ran behind Harkins Hall past the Concannon Fitness Center and Lennon Field. That allowed for the creation of a campus green and the expansion of the Slavin Center lawn by one third. The green features a sunny lawn outside Slavin, a shade lawn on the quad in front of Aquinas Hall, and new concrete walkways throughout.

Construction work is nearly complete on Schneider Arena, home to the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. It has undergone a complete renovation that includes the construction of a three-story, 30,000-square-foot addition.

Work is nearing completion on a track complex with artificial turf field, running track, and walking path on the former Hendricken Field. The College’s successful track and cross country programs will have a home track on which to practice and compete, and the facility also will be used by student clubs, faculty, and staff.

 

— Vicki-Ann Downing

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