Gustavus Welcomes Students Back to the HillMove-In Day 2023 features the biggest freshman class in several years.
Posted on September 1st, 2023 by

A Greeters squad poses with Gus on Move-In Day 2023.

More photos from Move-in Day 2023 are available here.

A joyful army of Gustie Greeters and others welcomed students back to campus on Friday, Sept. 1, Move-In Day for the 2023-24 school year.

The primary newcomers to the Hill are the Class of 2027, 524 first-year students who boast an average high school GPA of 3.7 and ACT score of 28. This is the largest incoming freshman class at Gustavus since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Greeters kicked off the breezy and sunny day with a boisterous early-morning rendition of the Gustie Rouser before fanning out across campus as student-athletes from multiple sports pitched in to help their peers—particularly the first-years—by moving boxes, suitcases, mini-fridges, microwaves, and loft frames into the residence halls.

Asked what advice he had for new students, Greeter Grant Baker ’25 said, “Be yourself and be open to making new connections. It may be scary at first, but it’s worth it in the long run.” Another Greeter, Carter Learned ’24, acted as “translator” for Gus the Lion, who bounced around the Hill meeting everyone and taking countless selfies with Gusties new and old. “Gus’s favorite thing about the College is all the community we build here in all areas,” Learned said. And Greeter Ellie Stodden ’24 added that her favorite part of being a Greeter was “making the campus feel like a home to the new Gusties.”

President Bergman welcomes new students and their families at the opening Convocation.

Faculty and staff joined the festivities, meeting new families and saying hello to old friends, and helping people get acclimated. Naturally, the tableau also included many instances of proud and tearful parents sharing bittersweet goodbyes as they sent their children off to the next phase of their young lives, which President Bergman addressed when she welcomed our new students and their families at this year’s opening Convocation ceremony. “I am so delighted that you are here, and I want to extend a warm welcome to parents, family members, and friends who are joining us,” she said, adding, “I join you in recognizing and celebrating this very special day. I understand the mix of emotions that you are experiencing today as a proud mother of four children, including two Gusties. I remember feeling a little nervous and a little worried for them, and I want to ensure you that we are a community that is fully committed to helping them grow, to learn, and to prepare for a purposeful and fulfilling life.”

Provost Brenda Kelly and Interim Dean of Students Charlie Potts ’01 also pledged their support for all Gustavus students however and wherever they need it, stressing how much can positively change and evolve over any four-year college experience. Kelly credited the general education curriculum in the liberal arts environment for introducing her to an unexpected field as a PhD and professor of chemistry, and Potts opened by saying, “To each and every one of our families today, and to our new students, let me begin by saying welcome home. It might seem a little soon to say that, but we know that this will, a little bit more each day, start feeling like home.” New Vice President of Enrollment Management Kim Frisch, who arrived on campus in June, echoed this, saying, “Around you are your fellow Gusties, the people who will help you become the best version of yourself. You are going find your people here.”

Vice President of Equity and Inclusion sent the group on its way by explaining the Gustavus philosophy of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). He noted the new signs around campus that display the College’s official and recently created Belonging Statement. “[We developed this] because it’s important to have a genuine sense of being known, heard, valued, and respected. It’s important to explain belonging this way,” he said. “There’s a lot of noise out there and misinformation about what this word is. And when we explain it this way, it becomes easier to understand and easier to see yourself engaging with. Our DEIB agenda includes you. I’ll say it again so we’re clear: Our DEIB agenda at Gustavus includes all of you.”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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