Wilkes Welcomes One of the Largest and Most Academically Prepared Classes In History
A Revamped Fenner Quadrangle, South Campus Gateway and Engineering Center Will Greet Students on Aug. 24.
Wilkes University welcomes students to campus for its 86th academic year at Welcome Weekend from Aug. 24 to 26. The weekend of events is a prelude to the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 27. The University's nearly 2,400 undergraduates, including over 650 new first-year students, are returning to a campus that experienced over $11 million in renovations that occurred this summer, including the revamped Fenner Quadrangle, a state-of-the-art engineering facility and a cross section of new walkways defining and connecting the campus.
"We are thrilled to greet our returning students and welcome this historic class to campus," said University President Patrick F. Leahy. "I always say there has never been a better time at Wilkes University. I hope our students agree when they return to a campus that has never looked better, never been better prepared to serve them, and never provided more academic opportunity."
Move-in day and First-Year Foundations Convocation for first-year and transfer students will be held on Friday, Aug. 24. Students begin moving in as early as 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Upperclassmen move in Saturday and Sunday.
The convocation at 3 p.m. on Friday formally welcomes new students to the academic life of the University, culminating in an address by Leahy. Speakers also include Anne Skleder, University provost and senior vice president, Class of 2015 alumnus Kristofer Rivers and student Richard Ermeus. Hunter Hughes, president of student government, will also offer remarks. It will be followed by a reception for students, parents and faculty.
The New Class
Wilkes' Class of 2022 has over 650 students, making it the second largest class in Wilkes history, as well as the strongest academically. Ninety-one students are in the Wilkes honors program, the largest class in its four-year history at Wilkes.
In addition to these first-year students, 90 transfer students and more than 400 new graduate students will attend the University. This brings the total number of students enrolled in all of Wilkes' programs to approximately 5,000.
The incoming class represents 324 high schools, including 71 private schools, and 21 states. Half of incoming students are the first in their families to pursue a four-year degree. Sixteen students will join Wilkes EDGE, a program designed to help first-year students transition to college life. This is the second year for the program.
The most popular majors among first-year students are nursing, pharmacy, biology and engineering.
The new South Campus Gateway connects the Henry Student Center to Stark Learning Center. It intersects with the expanded Karambelas East Campus Gateway, connecting South Main Street to the center of campus. Together, the two Gateways have transformed the Fenner Quadrangle, creating a park-like campus in the heart of downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Additionally, more than 15,000 square feet of space has been renovated into a state-of-the-art engineering facility in Stark Learning Center. The new space meets the changing needs of the engineering field with a flexible design that emphasizes collaboration and equipment that supports industry. Highlights include additive manufacturing and high-performance computing labs, a 3-D visualization space, two large flex labs, collaboration space and lounge areas. A formal dedication ceremony will be held on Friday, Sept. 14.
Work continues on new green space and a companion gateway at the south entrance to the Henry Student Center. This transforms a utilitarian area into a gathering space for students and members of the campus community. Redesigned parking areas and landscaping enhance attractiveness and safety while resulting in approximately 30 new parking spaces. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Other highlights of the new academic year include:
- The inaugural season of men's and women's ice hockey. Both teams take the ice in away games on Oct. 26. Home games will be played at the Toyota SportsPlex, the practice facility of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
- 17 new faculty members in fields that include digital design, education, nursing, pharmacy, business, engineering and physics.
- 10 new coaches in athletics, including new head coaches in ice hockey, football, soccer and baseball.
About Wilkes University:
Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university is on a mission to create one of the great small universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large, research university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small, liberal arts college, at a cost that is increasingly competitive with public universities. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates. In addition to 47 bachelor's degree programs, Wilkes offers 25 master's degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing.