Santa Clara University welcomes the newest members of the Bronco family—the Class of 2023. Check out some of the highlights from Welcome Weekend.
Santa Clara University President Kevin O’Brien often says the purpose of a university is to serve as a gathering place for great conversations and friendships. For the Class of 2023, many of those conversations and friendships began this past weekend during Welcome Weekend (WATCH).
Starting Friday, more than 1,800 students moved into 10 different residence halls. Festivities were held throughout the weekend—allowing students to explore their new home away from home—culminating with the women’s home soccer game against Stanford on Sunday night.
The largest class ever at Santa Clara University, the Class of 2023 is also one of its most diverse, representing 46 states, 26 nations, public and private schools, and a variety of interests and religions. In fact, 49 percent of Santa Clara’s incoming students identify as people of color.
“Our experience here is all the richer because of our diversity, which to me is an expression of God’s creativity,” O’Brien said during his President’s Welcome in the Leavey Center. “So, get to know people different than you. And know that all are welcome and have a place here.”
This was the second, more formal welcome Fr. O’Brien gave incoming students. The first came in a video message sent to families before they hit the road to Santa Clara. During Welcome Weekend, Fr. O’Brien participated in festivities, welcoming families as they arrived and handing out chocolates in residence hall rooms.
During his address to families, O’Brien shared stories from his time in college. He offered students several pieces of advice, including the importance of building a community on campus.
“It took me a while to ‘get’ college, to feel like I was at home there,” Fr. O’Brien said. “For some here, it will come easy; for others, it may take more time. So please, be kind and gentle and patient with each other, and encourage each other. This is your family now, your community. Take care of each other.”