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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 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.
to come ...
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


"Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself." Attending college is a new and exciting experience for students. Students need to have patience with parents, professors, roommates and ultimately themselves. ". . . No doubt that God is holding you by the hand; if he allows you to stumble, it is only to let you know that if he were not holding your hand, you would fall."


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.


Daily life may seem to be very chaotic with midterms, classes, roommates, and a whole host of things. Students can set goals for themselves then persevere and strive to accomplish them. To persevere is to pick yourself up after being thrown down, continually striving for one's personal best, and not giving up on a goal until you have completed it.


St. Francis de Sales tell us that "We must try to keep our hearts continually unshakably serene throughout the challenges of life." Love for a college student 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.


Forgiveness in our society today is may times overlooked. It is very easy for one person to hold a grudge or feelings of resentment toward another but this only slowly destroys the person who is resentful. When people truly forgive others for their wrongs, they fully forgive them in their heart.


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

Contact Us

Student Life
Dorothy Day Student Center