Aug. 15, 2017
The freshman class of 2021 that arrives at Saint Vincent College on Friday, Aug. 25, will be one of the smartest, most interesting and diverse in recent history.
Saint Vincent is looking forward to welcoming 465 freshmen including seven who were valedictorians or salutatorians at the top of their high school graduating classes.
Fifty-nine of the new freshmen begin with Advanced Placement (AP) credit including one student who already has 26 credits, two with 13 credits and four with 12.
The new students represent a broad geographic area that reflects the expanding national reputation of Saint Vincent. They hail from 17 states outside Pennsylvania including 52 students from Maryland, 33 from Florida, 11 from Ohio, 10 from New York, nine from Virginia, eight from New Jersey, two each from California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina and West Virginia and one each from Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Tennessee.
Students are choosing to major in a wide variety of academic fields including accounting, biology, biochemistry, computer science, criminology, early childhood education, engineering science, finance, integrated science, management, marketing and psychology. More than 50 major fields of study are offered by Saint Vincent.
Nineteen of the new Bearcats are Wildcats from Greater Latrobe Senior High School, the largest number from a single high school. Other schools with multiple students include Greensburg Salem (18), Derry Area (15), Home Schools (13), Mount Pleasant (12), Hempfield Area (10), Serra Catholic (9), Franklin Regional (8), Seton-LaSalle (8), Ligonier Valley (7), Saint Marys Ryken, Maryland (7) and Thomas Jefferson (7).
Ninety-two freshmen – 20 percent of the class – represent minority groups, the largest and most diverse class in the college’s history.
In addition to the 465 first-year students starting as freshmen, another 36 students are new to Saint Vincent as upperclassmen, transferring from other colleges and universities. Another 10 international students will be taking courses as non-degree study abroad, master of science in operational excellence and integrated language studies students from China, Turkey, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Eighty-eight percent of the freshmen will reside on campus, most of them in the all-freshman Saint Benedict Hall. Men will outnumber the women in the freshman class with 59 percent men and 41 percent women.
Some of the interesting members of the class of 2021 include the following:
- One hundred and one of the incoming freshmen attended Catholic high schools including Matthew Evans, Quigley Catholic, theology; Jonathon Hassman, of Walsh Jesuit High School, theology; Arielle Kreuzwieser of Ursuline High School, graphic design; Megan Mannion of Seton-LaSalle High School, graphic design; Heather Rieg of Bishop Carroll High School, graphic design; Leonard Simon of Calvert Hall College High School, history; and Cameron Vallus of Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, theology.
- Two freshmen who are traveling the greatest distance are Catherine, Votovich, who plans to major in history, and Patricia Kaapana who will major in communications. Both are graduates of Damien Memorial High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Of the 365 new freshmen, 193 will study in the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing, 188 will study one of the majors in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government; 70 will study in the School of Sciences, Communications and Education; and 34 will be in the School of Humanities and Fine Arts. Fifty freshmen have not yet declared a major.Two hundred and fourteen freshmen plan to participate in intercollegiate athletics
- Patrick F. Spollen of Mount Vernon High School, Alexandria, Virginia, Hauns L. White of St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Leonardtown, Maryland; and Patrick L. Couinhan of Bethel Park are Eagle Scouts. White will major in criminology, law and society, Spollen is undeclared, Couinhan (who also has a black belt in karate) will study marketing.
- Joseph F. Schwab of St. Mary’s Ryken High School, is an entrepreneur who raises chickens from chicks and sells eggs. He plans to major in accounting.
- Katherine E. Donavin of Owings, Maryland, is a varsity sailor who participated in competitive sailing for three years. She will major in biochemistry.
- Lily A. McCormick of Stafford, Virginia, attended the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America National Leadership Conference, served as a voting delegate and completed leadership academy. She will major in communication.
- Four graduates of Greater Latrobe Senior High School, Levi Baum, Jacob Etling, Antonio Noble and Mary Person were named the first Arnold D. and Winifred W. Palmer Scholars. Baum will study history, Etling will major in computing and information science, Person will study biology and Noble will major in accounting.
- Gwendolyn P. Murray of Tunkhannock was chosen by her classmates to represent them at the Pittsburgh graduation ceremony of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School which awarded diplomas to more than 1,100 students from 61 counties. She also won a piano competition to play at Carnegie Hall. She will major in psychology.
- Ethan R. Wendler of New Alexandria was May Student of the Month at the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center and a member of the computer engineering technology tech support team. He was also a cooperative education student in the Information Technology Department at Saint Vincent. A graduate of Derry Area High School, he will major in computer science.
- Sarah E. Maidment was the salutatorian at Avella Area High School. She will major in biology. Emily P. Rohm of Lemont Furnace was the valedictorian at Laurel Highlands High School. She will major in English. Kaleb J. Wilson of Carmichaels was the valedictorian at Carmichaels Area Senior High School’s graduation ceremony on June 2. He will major in political science.
- Four sets of twins are among the new freshmen: Mallory and Courtney Maffit of Mentor, Ohio; John and Kevin Martin of Canonsburg; Michael and Jeffrey Cella of Pittsburgh; and John and Steven Ludvik of Latrobe.
- Nina D. Porfiri of Huntingdon, Maryland, is a competitive archer who plans to major in management.
- Jonathan G. Meilaender of Houghton, New York, studied classical ballet and was the lead male soloist in The Nutcracker and Swan Lake with the Genesee Dance Theatre. A German-American dual citizen, he speaks German fluently and has been to Germany multiple times.
- Mary R. Anand of Wexford speaks three languages – English, Spanish and Tamil. She will major in biochemistry.
- Kiara I. Miller of Pittsburgh enjoys traveling nationally and internationally and had an opportunity this past spring to visit Thailand.
- Anthony J. Meneses of Covina, California, has been very active in his community with volunteer service projects as a member of the Interact Club including blood drives, beach clean-up, 5K cancer walks and a “super-trash pickup” in downtown Covina.
- Danielle Koehler of Rockledge, Florida, has a 215 bowling average and looks forward to joining the new Bearcat women’s varsity bowling team. She will major in engineering (3/2).
- Troy Dailey, a graduate of Peters Township High School, was the recipient of the Washington Financial Charitable Foundation Scholarship which awarded more than $600,000 to more than 200 local students.
- York Catholic High School’s Paul Dick, who played on the lacrosse team that won the York-Adams title in 2016 and on the football team that won the District 3 crown in 2016, will play lacrosse at Saint Vincent and major in marketing.
- Dylan P. Harshman, who graduated from Connellsville Area High School, won the Pete Ruggieri Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Connellsville Booster Football League. He will play football and study biology.
- Erica L. Smiley was a four-year member of the Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School varsity softball team with a 3.02 ERA and at the plate hit .569 with 46 RBIs, eight doubles and 10 home runs.
- Alona Sleith of West Newton set school records for the Cougars in home runs (7) and RBIs (33) at Yough High School and was named to the Tribune-Review’s Terrific 10. She will study business at SVC.
- Ryan D. Augustine, Antonio C. Noble and Tyler A. Roble, all of Latrobe, were members of the Greater Latrobe Senior High School Wildcats baseball team which won the state PIAA championship. They will study accounting.
Continuing a decades-long tradition, all of the freshman arrivals will be welcomed to campus by an orientation committee of more than 100 upperclass volunteers who will provide valet service and unload every bag, box and suitcase and deliver it to their assigned rooms in Saint Benedict Hall, the all-freshman residence hall. Overstuffed cars, trucks and vans will be greeted and surrounded by these enthusiastic volunteers who will empty vehicles in a few minutes to the amazement and appreciation of thankful parents.
Since the arrival of students for the fall semester coincides with the Great American Banana Split Celebration in Latrobe on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25, 26 and 27 and since Saint Vincent students were the first in the world to enjoy them at Dr. David Strickler’s pharmacy in Latrobe in 1904, they will have an opportunity to attend the fifth annual celebration and participate in the Almost 5K Foam Run presented by Saint Vincent College on Sunday afternoon.
Saint Vincent is a four-year, coeducational, Catholic, liberal arts and sciences college sponsored by the Benedictine monks of Saint Vincent Archabbey.
A diverse student population of nearly 2,000 undergraduates and graduate students hails from 27 U.S. states/territories and nine foreign countries.
The College’s quality educational programs have earned national recognition, most recently by U.S. News (first tier, national liberal arts colleges); Washington Monthly, (Best Liberal Arts Colleges); College Factual (#1 best for the money in Pennsylvania), and others.
Saint Vincent College's approach to education is rooted in a core curriculum that provides all students with a broad-based education offering a general body of knowledge in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, an interdisciplinary view of that knowledge base, and the skills to increase that general body of knowledge throughout their lives.
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