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Welcoming Freshmen, Gibbons Style
Rachelle Garbarine

Cardinal Gibbons freshmen started the 2018-2019 academic year a day earlier than the rest of their schoolmates. For them, it was a most unforgettable day; it was Freshman Welcome Day, an only at Gibbons tradition.

Rogo addresses upperclassmen about Freshman Welcome 2018.

Upperclassmen and educators were on campus to roll out the welcome mat for the 389 members of the Class of 2022. When Assistant Principal for Engagement Mike Rogosich spoke to the upperclassmen, he asked them not only to welcome the freshmen, but also to engage them by getting "to know a name, a face, and to love that student." He then told the group, "to take care of this class," whose members are now part of our Gibbons family.

"Take care of this class, whose members are now part of our Gibbons family," said Assistant Principal for Engagement Mike Rogosich. 

They did that and more by engaging the incoming freshmen in activities and fellowship - all with a "How to Get to 1401 Crusader Street," theme - and by guaranteeing they were cared for and became familiar with the Gibbons spirit.

Describing Freshman Welcome Day, College Counselor Nicole Kunhs, one of the educators on hand to welcome members of Gibbons' newest class, said: "It is a day that generates an incredible amount of community energy, is encouraging to all the incoming freshmen, and is like an enormous Gibbons hug."

Welcoming Freshmen, Gibbons Style

That "huggable spirit" permeated the entire day, which started with the upperclassmen welcoming the freshmen as soon as they stepped from their parents' cars and ended with a closing ceremony. In between, students attended Mass as well as played games, toured the school, learned the alma mater, received their laptops, and participated in small groups. The closing ceremony, in the main gym, in some ways resembled a cross between a Crusader Street-themed party and a pep rally.

For the newest members of the school community, Freshman Welcome Day not only helped ease their transition into high school, it also ensured they had an extraordinary start to the school year and to their Gibbons journey.

Colin McElroy '22 said what he liked most about the day was "the dancing," which he described as a "fun way to meet and interact with people."  He described Gibbons as a "very welcoming community." As for his first year  at Gibbons, he said he was looking forward to joining the swim and lacrosse teams as well as student council and drumline.

Freshman Welcome Day 2018.

Alex Jenny '22, who will be involved in volleyball and would like to get involved with student council, FYI and iCube, said what she liked about Freshman Welcome Day was, "meeting everyone in her class and getting a feel for the school." She said she learned Gibbons is filled with people who care.

Upperclassmen enjoyed the day, too. "It is a really good introduction to the Gibbons spirit," said Madeline Wujek '19, whose brother, Thomas, is an incoming Gibbons freshman. Recalling her own Freshman Welcome Day, she added, "I remember feeling that I got a good Gibbons vibe, and that same feeling existed today."