As President of the Student Government Association, I want to welcome you to Saint Anselm on behalf of every one of its students from the new and still anxious freshmen, to the older, wiser, and still anxious seniors. Men, women, athletes, service leaders, honors students, less than honorable students, residents, commuters, those who came here from across the country and those who just drove up the hill; aspiring young scientists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, nurses, teachers, poets and actors, counselors, law enforcement professionals, and leaders of all variety. Difficult as it is, we all take a break from our classes this afternoon to formally welcome you to Saint Anselm College!
I also personally want to welcome you to one of my very favorite places in the world. I know that you have already been on this campus for around three months and you have begun to see for yourself all the wonderful things that happen here and to appreciate how much this place means to everyone here. One thing that we constantly hear about Saint Anselm is how beautiful of a place this is and how lucky we are to call this place home. This is true of course, but the thing that most people don’t see when they walk on campus for the first time is that this place is much more than just a beautiful campus.
What makes Saint Anselm College a home for so many is the incredible people that walk around this campus every day. This is the type of place where each and every person would do anything for another person, the type of place where people constantly go out of their way for one another, the type of place where the dining staff will memorize your order, and I’m not sure you have realized this yet, but all those people holding the door for you? That’s not because you are the president. It’s just the way it is here. For everybody!
The Saint Anselm students who I am representing can be described by some impressive statistics. Besides achieving academically and sharing a collective GPA worthy of a top 100 Liberal Arts College, we have an 84% involvement rate, which means that 16% of us must just be too bashful to be counted, because in my experience all the students here are involved in something. Most impressive of all, we give 51,907 hours of our already busy days and nights back to our surrounding communities in the form of service! And the free time we do have we don’t spend complaining. We are ranked among students at all colleges and universities in the nation as the 8th happiest!
Now, in every interaction I have shared with you, you have always mentioned one thing, how you are technically a member of the class of 2023. So since I am a member of the class of 2020 I thought I would share some advice with you that I give to every freshman.
First, of course, study hard and learn all you can. And be careful, the syllabus can change sometimes. Next, talk to as many people as possible every day because there are still so many great students that are eager to meet you, know your story, and welcome you as a fellow Anselmian. Third, get involved with the countless number of clubs and organizations that we have on campus, because I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to my peers when they can confidently say they have a strong relationship with the President. And fourth, I know you have only moved a few miles north to join us, but be sure you have an extra coat because winter is always just a little bit colder on the top of this hill.
Finally, Dr. Favazza, you should know that the students at those seven schools ranked above us in happiness? The students at those places are totally faking it! Believe me, we are the happiest students in the nation! And we are even happier to have you leading us forward! Welcome! And pleases, allow us to hold open the many doors through which you will lead us!