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First Year Experience: Character U

The mission of the Character U Program is to facilitate the adjustment, development, and success of first-year students through the acquisition of Salesian character traits: gentleness, humility, patience, and love of knowledge.

Through Character U, you’ll enjoy a close relationship with a peer mentor who will guide you through your first year. You'll find an instant social group in your "pod" of classmates. You'll learn about yourself in a variety of Character U programming.

Along the way, you'll earn points as you: 

  • Become inspired at monthly Character U Keynotes. Past speakers include Olympic gymnast Carley Patterson, national wrestling champion Anthony Robles, authors/motivational speakers Terry Caffey and Marcus Engle, 9/11 firefighter Jay Jones, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Barry Bridger, and CIA agent Jimmy Olson.

  • Grow your mind with programs offered by the Career Development Center.

  • Serve others through the Center for Service and Social Justice. 

  • Explore your faith through campus ministry and Salesian Center programs and events.

  • Cheer your heart out in support of our athletic teams.

  • Stay happy and healthy with programs from our PACE peer advising team and the wellness center.
Discover Character U
Character U helps first-year students make the transition from high school to college a little smoother. It encourages character development through keynote speakers, diverse programs, campus events, and meetings with peer mentors.
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Michael White '20 - DeSales University

Developing the character trait perseverance is just wonderful. ... There are going to be ups and downs throughout college and I think if you can persevere through them, if you can get past them, then you’re going to be successful. ... Life is all about figuring out ways to get past those speed bumps, those roadblocks.

Michael White ’20 Finance and Accounting

The 6 Traits of Character U


"Hope is the opposite of fear." Everyone should have hope in their lives. Hope for better grades, for a winning sports team, or for being a better person. St. Francis de Sales states that "Let us serve God well today; he will provide for tomorrow."


For a college student, love could mean many things: love between a boyfriend or girlfriend, love of parents, and love of a video game. But St. Francis tells us that no matter what happens in our lives we must ever look and tend toward the love of God.


Daily life can seem chaotic with midterms, classes, roommates, and a whole host of things. To persevere is to pick yourself up when you're down, to always strive for your personal best, and to not give up on a goal until you've reached it.


Trust & Cooperation
"What great satisfaction it is for someone truly dedicated to God to walk with eyes closed." If everyone could truly trust in God and understand that he will "take care of all and manage all," we would all truly walk with our eyes closed because of the trust in Him.


"Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself." Attending college is a new and exciting experience for students — they need to have patience with parents, professors, roommates and ultimately themselves. "

Contact Us

Student Life
Dorothy Day Student Center

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