Kaler welcomes freshmen to campus

President Eric Kaler, two months into the job, welcomed the class of 2015 to the University.

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Mark Vancleave

A welcome week leader leads College of Liberal Arts freshmen in a cheer.

Dina Elrashidy

On Thursday President Eric Kaler welcomed the University of MinnesotaâÄôs class of 2015.
The UniversityâÄôs 5,300 new students filled almost half of Mariucci Arena with palpable energy, with cheers of âÄúSki-U-Mah!âÄù and a chorus of the national anthem.  
Amid chanting, clapping and orchestrated waves, Kaler welcomed the class by praising their achievements, noting that, by most measures, it is âÄúthe best first-year class ever to enter the University.âÄù
He noted that the class of 2015 has the highest ever ACT score average of any incoming class. More than 600 of the incoming freshmen class are part of the University Honors Program, according to the University.
Trevor McDonald, a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts, said heâÄôs not only excited about the UniversityâÄôs research environment, but also for sporting events like football and hockey.
 âÄúItâÄôs been a great week. The atmosphere is really cool,âÄù freshman Gunnar Scharf said, surrounded by fellow first-year Carlson School of Management students.
âÄúThis is a great and vast place,âÄù said Kaler, who is also new to the University. He took office July 1.
 âÄúYou might remember this is a new job for me too, and you are my first-ever class,âÄù Kaler said, encouraging the freshmen to broaden their knowledge base through University resources.
âÄúPlease take from this University all that it provides. Give back to it with all of your heart. ThatâÄôs the bargain, thatâÄôs the deal. This is your moment, and these are your four years.âÄù
In a playful display, the new president showed off his âÄúClass of 2015âÄù temporary tattoo on his forearm. âÄúAs my tattoo suggests, IâÄôm rooting for you,âÄù Kaler said.
After speeches from University alumni and faculty, the fanfare of the marching band closed the event with the same energy that filled Mariucci Arena.