Westminster College Welcomes 350 New Students

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.  – Westminster College officially opened its 169th academic year Friday with the annual opening convocation ceremony that welcomed nearly 350 new students to campus.

Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson reflected on the many challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented over the past year. She noted the many ways the Westminster community prevailed and how students, faculty and staff members “learned and worked together in ways that epitomize the spirit of this college that I like to call the ‘We’ in ‘Westminster.’”

First-year students arrived on campus early Friday morning and were greeted by nearly 100 upperclass orientation leaders and football players who helped unload cars and move belongings into residence halls.

The new students represent 25, with most coming from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Maryland, New York and Virginia. Business administration, biology, nursing and psychology make up the most popular majors for the members of the class of 2025.

Richardson charged the new students to enter into the Westminster community wholeheartedly, to work together and make the Westminster College campus an even better place.

“We believe you all have the capacity to succeed and to excel,” she said.

Richardson reminded students that every member of the campus community is expected to honor the standards of compassion, justice and a disciplined life in the pursuit of excellence, and she urged students to offer their personal best and excellence as a student and as a campus citizen.

Richardson also spoke of one of the fundamental academic principles at Westminster: collaboration.

“We believe the path to learning and success is not a solitary pathway. We believe students should walk, work and learn alongside our faculty,” said Richardson. “I hope you will embrace that idea of connection, collaboration and experience as you begin your walk as a student today.”

Dr. Jamie McMinn, dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs, offered a message of welcome and challenged students to take advantage of the academic opportunities available at Westminster and engage with faculty.

“They will guide you through the many wonders of a liberal arts education. They will challenge you. They will inspire you,” he said. “Join them on this academic journey that will lead you to interesting and transformative places.”

Student government president and senior biology major Noah Pollio of New Castle, Pa., offered student greetings, urging the new first-year students to embrace their new community and the opportunity to explore their passions. 

“I urge you to treat this time reverently, to pursue goals and your interests, and to do it with gusto,” he said. “Students who capitalize on their time at Westminster truly leave this campus endowed with the traits of human beings at their best.”

Pictured at top: Westminster’s newest students emerge from the Opening Convocation ceremony, meeting greetings and applause from Westminster College faculty members.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.