Stefanie Burke: Experiencing Lehigh’s First-Year Student Sendoff

Representing Lehigh’s Office of First-Year Experience, I had the honor of attending a First-Year Student Sendoff in Long Island on July 17, 2016. See more 2016 Student Sendoff photos

It’s that exciting (and sometimes anxious) time of the summer when moving away from home and starting orientation feels like it cannot come quick enough and yet the summer is flying by too quickly. As the Director of First-Year Experience at Lehigh, I know that feeling all too well. There is anticipation and excitement for the upcoming semester, and our office savors every moment to ensure we are prepared for the year ahead. For the students and families I met on July 17, they got a quick glance into just what Lehigh will offer students in the fall — a welcoming community and opportunities to connect, learn, and engage.

On July 17, I was fortunate enough to attend the First-Year Student Sendoff in Long Island which was hosted by Eve Mongiardo ’86. You could feel the excitement in the room once students and their families started arriving. They can’t wait to get to Lehigh, and the current students and alumni who attended were ready and eager to share their experiences and answer questions about their beloved school and alma mater. It is this willingness to give back and help each other that I have loved and appreciated about the Lehigh community since I started working here about four years ago. Every day, I see examples of this, and Sunday was no different.

Alumna Linda Kagan Horowitz ’86 (left), a long-time friend of Eve, attended the event and talked about her experiences at Lehigh with incoming students and families.
Current students, (left to right) Matthew Rothberg ’18, Joseph Mitri ’17, and Jared Horowitz ’18, were excited to answer questions and ease the nerves that come with moving to a new place.
Families were present to support their incoming student, and be a part of the excitement too.

Lehigh is a community where everyone takes part, which is what makes it so special.  It was refreshing to see that the first-year students could experience that so early in their career and know that they will get to continue that tradition into the future.

What a great event to introduce members of the Class of 2020 to what their Lehigh experience is all about.  It is more than just four years and a degree, but a transformative experience and a community they’ll be a part of for a lifetime.

OFYE_BurkeStefanie Burke
Assistant Dean & Director of First-Year Experience

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