Rowan welcomes class of 2023

Nicholas Alexandros Mercados celebrates with SGA President Arielle Gedeon as he's passed the Torch of Knowledge. Photo by Alexander Heller

By Alexander Heller

Rowan’s freshman class of 2023 was greeted on the University Green Sunday afternoon by Student Government Association President, Arielle Gedeon, Associate Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Drew Tinnin, as well as President Dr. Ali Houshmand. The President’s Welcome ceremony not only introduced the incoming freshmen to the administration, but also Rowan traditions such as Rowan’s Alma Mater, the Fight Song, as well as the passing of the Torch of Knowledge.

Among the speakers that addressed the class of 2023, Rebekah Marine, also known as the “Bionic Model”, gave the greetings address to the new Rowan students. Born without her right forearm, Marine has defied all the odds in the fashion industry and has been featured in many publications, including TIME, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue and more. 

 A Rowan alum from the class of 2010, Marine has travelled across the country giving motivational speeches with a focus on self-love, overcoming insecurities, embracing differences, and living without the fear of rejection and failure.

As the speakers began to wind down, SGA President Arielle Gedeon introduced one final Rowan tradition to the class of 2023, the passing of the Torch of Knowledge. 

The tradition dates back to 1931, and each year representatives from Rowan’s graduating seniors would pass along the Torch of Knowledge to their successors in hopes of inspiring the next generation of students. In keeping with that tradition, Gedeon passed the Torch to the representative of the class of 2023, Nicholas Alexandros Mercado.

The class of 2023 celebrated and were soon greeted with a picnic courtesy of Rowan’s Gourmet Dining 

As the freshmen began to settle in, many of them were excited about the coming semester. Music theater major, Philip Caracciolo is excited to start and is ready for the college experience.

“This is the first time I’ll be away from home for a long time,” Caracciolo said. “But I’m nonetheless ready for it. I’m excited about the experience.”

Exploratory studies major, John Sullivan is looking forward to not only start the semester, but meet new people, as well.

“I can’t wait to meet so many new people here at Rowan,” Sullivan. “The connections you make at college has a lasting impact on you as a person, and that’s the thing I’m most excited about Rowan.”

With that being said, as classes start this week and students slowly finalizing their arrangements, it seems that Rowan is surely read to rake in the new year with their excited freshman class.

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