First-year enrollment numbers jump, students find new homes

Featured Image: Left: Kristian Ramkvist, first-year Elias Paulino, first-year Declan Keener and assistant coach Cassondre Wilburn; right: orientation staff pose for a photo on move-in day. Kayleigh Poggioli | Courtesy

With an enrollment of 445 first-years, according to enrollment figures, this year’s incoming class of new Marlins broke the university record for enrollment into VWU’s traditional College of Arts and Sciences.

Heather Campbell, vice president of VWU Enrollment, said that the office “made some significant changes to our recruitment processes this year, which I believe played a major role in the success of this class.” Campbell said the two primary changes included “becoming a member of the Common Application and creating and implementing an extensive digital marketing plan.” 

Regarding the people who worked alongside her, Campbell said, “This team worked extremely hard to enroll in this class. Many members of the Enrollment Team were in their first recruitment cycle and blew me away with the results. Each member of this team went above and beyond during this cycle.”

Indeed, the broken record indicates that Campbell and her team saw the fruits of their labor. “Enrollment is extremely fast paced, and we have to constantly adapt and pivot. I believe our willingness to embrace that led to our success this year,” Campbell said. 

Aside from the work of the enrollment team, an array of factors led first-years down their individual paths to VWU. 

Among these factors are the university’s new athletic programs. First-year Tyler Younger landed at Virginia Wesleyan because of the pioneering Men’s Volleyball program that will be making its official first season debut this winter. 

In terms of his adjustment to college life, the most unexpected part of college was how much more laid back it was than high school. “The adjustment process has gone very well, I’ve adjusted quite fast, and I’m meeting a lot of new people,” Younger said.

Another factor that drew Younger to VWU was its closeness to home, a sentiment that first-year Liam Castellano shares.

What originally brought Castellano’s attention to VWU was the fact that their uncle went here. After familiarizing themself with campus through a tour, Castellano’s decision to attend was set in stone. “I just loved how beautiful the campus was, loved that it was a smaller school and it seemed really accepting of all sorts of people’s differences,” Castellano said.

VWU’s primary appeal for first-year Jordan Fielder was the small campus. “I feel like with bigger universities you don’t get to build a connection with your professors, so that was a major part of my decision,” Fielder said.

From an athletic standpoint, Fielder said, “Having the opportunity to compete at collegiate level was a good tie-in to me making VWU my home.”

Fielder named “the friendly squirrels” as his most unexpected experience at VWU. “They’re like little dogs almost, and it’s kinda scary but cool at the same time,” Fielder said.

Left: First-year Julie Zamor prepares to move her belongings into her Bray Village dorm. Kayeligh Poggioli | Courtesy

Right: Kayeligh Poggioli | Courtesy





By Lily Reslink