SMWC welcomes a new class of Woodsies

August 21st, 2014 | Betsy Wells

The Avenue Moment
In the dorm room
Tonya Williams, WOL student, stands with her daughter, Anthanique Cooper, incoming freshman.

Treasured belongings, feelings of anticipation and new students – these are what filled the vehicles entering the front gates of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) this morning. President Dottie King, Ph.D., greeted each student as they drove down The Avenue toward their future.

This fall, The Woods welcomes a total of 108 new students – 80 freshmen, 20 transfer students and 8 international students – into the traditional campus program. The international students represent the countries of Taiwan, China and Korea.

The excitement was almost tangible as the new students moved into their new home, Le Fer Hall.

“I’m very excited to be here, and I can’t wait to see what The Woods brings in my future,” said Anthanique Cooper, as she stood in her new room with her mother, Tonya Williams, a current Woods Online student. “It feels great to be following in her footsteps,” Anthanique continued. “We are even majoring in the same thing – early childhood education.”

SMWC sisters on move-in day
Sisters, Shelby and Tara Parmer, begin their journey as Woodsies together, Shelby as a junior transfer student, and Tara as an incoming freshman.

These 108 new students officially became Woodsies today as they kicked off orientation weekend. For some, that meant transitioning from high school to college, and for others, it meant transitioning from one college to another. For the Parmer family, it meant both!

Sisters, Shelby and Tara Parmer, arrived at the College together to begin their journey as Woodsies. Both ladies – Shelby, a junior transfer student, and Tara, a new freshman – are majoring in healthcare administration and playing on the basketball team.

“The welcome on The Avenue was a really cool experience. It seems like a really great place where everyone knows everyone, so I’m excited for that experience,” said Shelby.

“I’m excited to meet new people,” agreed Tara. “And I’m especially looking forward to the basketball program.”

The Class of 2018 is the first class that will have the opportunity to use the new Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center, which will open in November.

Student with her father at SMWC
Mari Bennett, incoming freshman, stands with her father, Mark Bennett.

While the campus improvements are definitely something to be excited about, one thing is for sure – the students seem to be most looking forward to the strong sense of community at The Woods.

“I’m really excited to meet all of the other girls and the professors. Everyone here is very heartfelt and welcoming,” said Mari Bennett, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholar and incoming freshman majoring in psychology. “I’m just really excited to grow … meet new people, make new friends, and learn something new.”

Facts about the incoming freshmen, Class of 2018:

  • The top majors are equine studies, education, psychology and pre-professional.
  • The student traveling the farthest (besides international students) has come 1,008 miles from Middleboro, Mass.
  • Out-of-state students traveled an average of 354 miles to The Woods.
  • There are a total of 18 athletes in this class.
  • SMWC awarded nearly $1 million ($971,726) in merit awards to this class.
  • Five students were selected as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholars, the most prestigious scholarship at The Woods.

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