Mount Aloysius President Thomas Foley said the college's faculty has five main goals for teaching its incoming Class of 2014 and students.
Foley said the teachers and staff seek to help the students grow in "appropriate ways," ensure they graduate "in an appropriate time frame," encourage them to ask plenty of questions, guide them in understanding that the students themselves control their own success and make sure they understand that "learning does not begin and end in the classroom."
Through those steps, the students will reach their ultimate goals, he said.
Mirror photos by Gary M. Baranec
Ryan Stauffer of State College leads a procession of faculty and administrators during the All-College Convocation Thursday at Mount Aloysius College.
Faculty and administrators prepare to march outside.
"What you learn here, you can take anywhere," Foley said. "The horizon may be as far as you can see, but it's really just your starting line."
Foley was one of several speakers at Mount Aloysius College's annual All-College Convocation on Thursday afternoon. The ceremony, held in the campus's Whalley Plaza in front of the main classroom building, featured several speakers, music and faith as a way to welcome new students to the community.
About 400 students, new and old, guests and trustees attended the convocation.
Sister Helen Burns, vice president for mission integration, opened the convocation by taking the new freshman back to the college's first years. The college, now in its 75th year, has expanded exponentially since 24 women met on Sept. 24, 1939 and made up the first class of the Mount Aloysius Junior College, Burns said.
"This education enterprise has grown immensely since that September day," she said.
Frank Crouse, the college's vice president for enrollment management, noted that each class at Mount Aloysius is made up of both traditional freshmen and adult learners.
The range of ages is not the only unique thing about the freshman class this year, Crouse said. The Class of 2014 includes 42 students from other states and 12 international students. The students come "from many walks of life," he said.
Though the final numbers will not be available until October, Crouse said that this year's class is likely to be the largest in the school's history. The average freshman class size is 387 students, according to Mount Aloysius's website.
"You are indeed a special group of students," Crouse said.