College welcomes record breaking freshman class

By Mia Ingui
Staff Writer

At 1,577 students, the College is now housing, educating and shaping the lives of its largest freshman class to date. Last year’s freshman class capped off at 1,473 students, according to the College’s website.

Moving in on Thursday, Aug. 24, incoming freshmen experienced all of the traditions of living on campus for the first time: Welcome Week, Playfair and the community atmosphere in the Towers, ABE, Centennial, and Norsworthy Hall.

“Welcome Week is probably the best week of college,” said Danielle Pernice, a freshman marketing major. “TCNJ did a great job organizing freshman activities and didn’t overwhelm us with more than we could handle.”

The class of 2021 has some impressive statistics. The farthest domestic student is from California, and there are students from states such as Arizona, Utah, Wisconsin and Georgia as well, according to Luke Sacks, head media relations officer for the College. The farthest international student is from Vietnam, but there are freshmen at the College from China, Columbia and India as well.

314 freshmen played an instrument in a band for school or their community, 16 freshmen were class or student body presidents and 383 were varsity captains of 487 teams, according to Sacks. The class also includes 24 black belts, 196 students who performed in a play for their school or community theater organization and 47 students who participated in robotics clubs or competitions, Sacks added.

The large class fills the towers to their maximum capacity. (Jason Proleika/ Photo Editor)

328 freshmen have relatives who are alumni of the College, 349 were presidents or vice presidents of 430 clubs or organizations in their respective high schools and 1,081 volunteered on 2,088 different projects and clubs, according to an article from NJ.com.

Included in the new class are eight sets of twins and two sets of triplets. The most popular names amongst the freshmen are Matthew for males, while Julia and Amanda are tied for the top female name. As for most popular majors, biology, psychology and nursing are the top three, according to NJ.com.

Preparing the College’s amenities to accommodate the incoming freshmen was a huge challenge this fall, according Sean Stallings, assistant vice president of the student services division of Student Affairs.

“Housing was certainly challenged by the large class,” Stallings said. “When we learned that the incoming class yield was higher than usual, it became apparent that we would need to maneuver to ensure that we were positioned to honor our guarantee and house all of the incoming first year students. To meet the demand, we transformed lounges in Travers and Wolfe into student rooms; these converted rooms are called quads. Also, we had to relocate approximately 60 second year students originally assigned to Norsworthy to other spaces around campus.”

Though student housing was challenged by the amount of incoming freshmen, the near-completion of the Brower Student Center construction is certainly advantageous.

“The student center is operating at near full functionality and it has been buzzing with excitement,” Stallings said. “The energy around the building has been well received and it’s wonderful to see the students enjoying the space. I think the larger class has only added excitement and vibrancy to our campus life.”

Pernice said that she was excited to be part of the largest freshman class the College has seen.

“It’s actually so cool,” Pernice said. “Our incoming class has such a diverse group of people and I’m proud to say I’m the class of 2021.”