College Welcomes Largest-Ever Freshman Class to Lander for In-Person Fall Semester
As July draws to a close in beautiful Lander, Wyoming, it is time once again for Wyoming Catholic College’s Freshman Arrival Week, when the College welcomes its newest members to town. This year’s class is Wyoming Catholic’s largest ever—sixty members strong—and it includes representatives from twenty-nine states (as well as Canada).
“We’re pleased to welcome these young men and women to Lander,” said Dr. Glenn Arbery, the College’s president. “And we’re particularly pleased that these strange times have not reduced their enthusiasm for what Wyoming Catholic has to offer. We are aware of our obligations to the town we call home, and we have been working diligently to ensure that we are complying with all state directives on COVID-19 as we move ahead. The two highly-successful programs for high school students that we offered this summer have given us confidence that our extraordinary education can be offered in a way that is safe, both for our students and for Lander itself.”
In this year’s events, the College’s administration and staff are making use of the “wide open spaces” of Wyoming. Many of Arrival Week’s activities are being held outside or in larger classrooms, where it is easier to maintain the physical distancing recommended by Governor Mark Gordon. Registration, for example, was held throughout Tuesday morning under a large tent at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. These same physical distancing measures will be in place when the rest of the student body returns in late August, as part of Wyoming Catholic’s COVID-19 protocols.
The rest of the week will include informational meetings and introductory activities—Dorm Room Check-In, a Welcome BBQ at Dillon Park, Parent Orientation, an outdoor Introduction to the 21-Day Freshman Expedition, and a few days of wilderness medicine training for each group of students before they head out into the backcountry for what Wyoming Catholic calls “the most unusual and meaningful orientation program in the country.” New students will spend twenty-one days in the Wind River and Teton Mountains and surrounding wilderness area before returning in late August to join the rest of the College’s student body for Matriculation and the opening of the Academic Year.
Dr. Arbery realizes that this year will pose a unique set of challenges. “I’m heartened by the energy and enthusiasm of these young students and their families. Wyoming Catholic’s unique educational vision is worth the inconvenience of the precautions we are taking, and the fact that this year’s class is our largest ever really underscores that fact!”