Bustling Activities During Opening Week
The beginning of the fall 2023 semester was marked by familiar and exciting events for returning students as well as new opportunities to welcome the class of 2027 into the Mount community.
The opening week began with first-year convocation on Aug. 20, followed by the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Aug. 24, Senior Pinning Ceremony and Annual Crab Feast on Aug. 25 and Glow Crazy on Aug. 26. Each of these events brought people together and kicked off the year with enthusiasm.
First-year convocation included a welcoming ceremony for the class of 2027 at the Immaculate Conception Chapel. Vice President & Dean of Students Dr. Levi Esses was excited to see first-year students the day before their first class. He stated, “It was a nice transition from our Expedition MSMU (Orientation) to the first day of classes. The students in attendance were able to hear from not only President Trainor but also some of our leaders on the academic side. It was also great to have members of the faculty and academic deans in attendance." The faculty ensured a warm welcome for first year students.
According to Esses, President Timothy Trainor always brings his positive enthusiasm and Provost Boyd Creasman and Associate Provost Love Sechrest had some great tips for success. “I hope freshmen take advantage of their advice and tips.”
The Mass of the Holy Spirit assists the Mount community with finding spiritual strength as they navigate the year. Rachel Adeleke (C'24) commented on the mass by saying it helps students through “a prayer for attaining and finding wisdom.” Fr. Martin Moran added, “The Mass of the Holy Spirit is an opportunity to pray for guidance and wisdom as we undertake the work of our Mount St. Mary’s mission during the 2023-24 school year.” Students are continuously reminded of the mission as they navigate the year, and this mass serves as a reminder of who Mount students are designed to be.
The Senior Pinning Ceremony is one of the last times the senior class had the opportunity to be together collectively until commencement. Seniors were given a pin as a memorable item as well as their college career in its entirety as their final year started.
Senior Class Secretary Andrea Cabrera-Vargas said, “The senior pinning was such a beautiful experience seeing everyone come together. It was nice to see the reunion of all of my senior classmates and friends at this memorable occasion. Gathering everyone allowed us seniors to fully realize that this is our final year together at the Mount.”
The pinning ceremony is truly a bittersweet event as seniors kick off their final year and remember many last “firsts” they will have. Cabrera-Vargas concluded by saying, “I think that it brought a sense of community because the pinning allowed me and others to see everyone together before we all walk across the stage in May.”
Another event, Glow Crazy, was a fun-filled party hosted by Activity Management Program (AMP) during the first weekend of classes. The dance party included a professional DJ, sounds and lights. “The motivation behind this event was to have a big event right at the start of the semester to celebrate the new school year and welcome new and returning students back to campus,” said Graduate Student Activities Coordinator Shelby Aguilar (C’23). AMP hosts several events throughout the academic year, and Glow Crazy was a success in bringing the student body together in a relaxed and fun environment.
The last event of the happening first week of classes culminated in the Annual Crab Feast sold on Aug. 25. It was a sold-out event as students quickly signed up for all you can eat crabs for only five dollars. Aguilar had positive remarks about the event stating, “I think it sparks so much interest because it’s not only a Mount tradition but a Maryland tradition, so in-state students want to be a part of this tradition.” She also added that five dollar all-you-can-eat crabs is something you cannot find anywhere else. This is a popular school tradition that invites all students to share in some Maryland pride.
As the campus hosted events in the first academic week, the opening week events provided a sense of belonging and inclusivity for all students as the fall semester kicks off.
Students enjoying the delicious Crab Feast
Photo by: Gabrielle Hendricks