As hundreds of accepted students filed into Billera Hall on Sunday, March 16, they had no idea what awaited them. For many, this was the first opportunity they would have to meet and mingle with their future classmates. Future English major Caroline Fenton was nervous but excited as she was waiting for the event to begin.
“I don't really know what to expect. I'm excited though, to meet the teachers and other students.” This was a sentiment echoed by a lot of the accepted students as they attended the festivities provided by the University.
The Bulldog Bash is an annual celebration held in Billera Hall for accepted students and their families to have an opportunity to get to know one another, the faculty, the campus, and even have a chance to win prizes. They can also visit a clubs and activities fair, take a tour of the residence halls, and basically see what DeSales offers. The theme for this year was Hawaiian Luau and guests were given a lei as they entered.
The event was emceed by Matt McMonagle '15 and Kevin White '15. “It went really well. Everyone seemed to have fun. The audience seemed a little tense at first, but they loosened up as we went along,” said McMonagle.
Indeed, the emcees kept the atmosphere light and humorous as they threw t-shirts into the crowd and sang their one word song called “DeSales.” Other highlights were when White broke a ukelele and McMonagle ran through the crowd.
The duo introduced Father Bernard O'Connor, OSFS, president of the University and Father John Fisher OSFS, assistant professor in the division of liberal arts and sciences. Father O'Connor welcomed the students and Father Fisher gave an overview of the Salesian tradition at DeSales University. Following this, the incoming students and their families had lunch, met and talked with each other, and visited the activities fair.
After lunch, McMonagle and White returned to the stage to introduce the Entertainment Extravaganza. This portion of the afternoon was kicked off by freshman Krisella Gabriele ’17, who entertained the crowd with a traditional Tahitian dance. Phoenix Best ’15, accompanied by fellow Alec Maksymowych ’15, Lee Orzol ’15, and Simon Woolbert ’15 performed the hit song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. Justin Gambone ’14 performed a martial arts routine for the crowd to much applause.
The afternoon concluded on a high note, with Dr. Gerard Joyce, vice president for student life, hosting a variation of the popular game show Deal or No Deal. The incoming students really took to this activity, as prizes ranged from gift cards to the bookstore to a pineapple. (Yes, someone did walk away with a pineapple.) However, there were bigger prizes to be awarded. Seven individual scholarships of various amounts were handedout. To cap it off though, a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to everyone in attendance that day.
History major Vincent Pisciotti enjoyed the activities and felt as though the event solidified his college decision. He could perhaps sum up the afternoon the best. “I loved it, it was a great time. Everyone was smiling by the end. There was just such a warm and friendly atmosphere and a very welcoming environment. I could see myself spending the next four years here.”
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