My View from South Hill
Monday, August 16, 2010
Every year at about this time, the summer pace on campus abruptly quickens. Although preparation for the fall semester begins literally the day after May Commencement, our focus becomes more intense in early August. We will soon be the academic home of 6,500 students, some 4,300 of whom will also live on campus.
With all respect to the sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students, there is inevitably a special excitement about the incoming freshman class. The first year of college is one of the great transitions in life, both for students and their families. For the class of 2014, freshman year is about to begin, a year they are destined to remember – in great detail – decades from now.
One of the magical elements of our campus is that students come together for a common purpose but bring with them an incredibly diverse array of backgrounds. Among the members of the Class of 2014 are Leroy Tindi of the Bronx, a computer science major who developed an online database inventory system that he presented at a national education computing conference. He will be joined by Emily Park of Austin Texas, a Cinema & Photography major who had one of her photographs published on the cover of a textbook used at the University of Texas. Abby Sophir will be here, a TV-Radio major from St. Louis who won the Jim McKay Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship, named in honor of legendary sportscaster Jim McKay, was awarded by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of Abby’s “exceptional talent as a creator of video programming as well as outstanding academic achievement and potential for success.”
The class of 2014 includes Nicholas Tweedy of Fort Hood TX, who served as a land combat electronic missile systems repairer for the US Army before coming to Ithaca to study in our School of Business. One of the shortest trips to campus will be made by Amber Capogrossi, valedictorian at nearby Newfield High school, who also found time to compete in varsity volleyball and track, play at the New York State Music Association Solo Festival, and serve as president both of the student council and her senior class.
The class of 2014 includes students who have won a first place medal in the International Thespian Society’s Regional Conference, have written an admission essay on advances in stem cell research, have tutored their peers in mathematics and science, and have served as their high school’s athletics mascot. Actually, we will be joined by one student who did all of those things: Roger Dunkelbarger of Evansville Indiana, who is majoring in Musical Theater.
The class of 2014 will have one student who almost had to back out earlier this year. Michela Moe of Kihei, Hawaii, won the Miss Maui beauty pageant and became eligible to compete for the title of Miss Hawaii. She wrote to us in April with mixed feelings saying that if she won the Miss Hawaii title she would have to defer admission in order to enter the Miss USA competition. Sadly, perhaps, Michela did not go on to win Miss Hawaii, but she’ll have some great stories to tell when she arrives at IC to begin her Communication Management and Design program!
Cady Lang of Clayton California will come to IC to major in journalism. True to her field, Cady wrote an article in the Contra Costa Times on why she chose Ithaca College. She dreaded the idea of moving all the way across the country, and when she was invited to apply for a Park Scholarship she at first hoped she wouldn’t get it! Cady writes that “Fear of the unknown, whether it's experiencing life with snow or moving far away from home, should hardly be reason for shying away from opportunities. Although I still have misgivings about the cold weather in upstate New York and the distance from my family, … I'll glean satisfaction from knowing that I chose to attend a school that was right for me — snow and all.”
Cady’s words capture the hopes and dreams of all 1600 talented members of the class of 2014. Some will consider Ithaca’s winters to be cold and snowy, like Cady. Others will experience our winters as short and balmy, like Elyse Hornstein, a journalism major from Duluth Minnesota. But all will arrive with a suitcase full of hopes and dreams. And for all, their first year at Ithaca College will be an experience they will never forget.
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