Kaler welcomes freshman class at convocation


Mark Vancleave

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

by Dina Elrashidy

President Eric Kaler welcomed the University of MinnesotaâÄôs class of 2015 Thursday, Sept. 1.

The UniversityâÄôs 5,300 new students filled almost half of Mariucci Arena with palpable energy, with cheers of âÄúSki-U-Mah!âÄù and a singing of the national anthem. 

Amid constant 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 freshman 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 on July 1.

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 and the class of 2015.