Feature Story

Welcome, Class of 2018!

August 22, 2014 – by Spenser Hickey ’15

Ohio Wesleyan formally welcomed the Class of 2018 on Aug. 21 with a Convocation ceremony held in Gray Chapel. The next time all members of the class gather again, it will be to receive their OWU diplomas. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Ohio Wesleyan formally welcomed the Class of 2018 on Aug. 21 with a Convocation ceremony held in Gray Chapel. The next time all members of the class gather again, it will be to receive their OWU diplomas. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Among Ohio Wesleyan University’s Class of 2018 are a gold medalist swimmer from Pakistan, a guitar-playing kung fu instructor, and an extra in the 2014 film “Divergent.”

That’s just some of the information shared about the new class by Vice President for Enrollment Susan Dileno as she presented the students during the Aug. 21 Convocation ceremony.

Dileno, who joined the OWU family in July, also shared that the new class includes students from 18 nations and 33 U.S. states and commonwealths. It includes 16 students with siblings who attended Ohio Wesleyan and 28 students with parents or grandparents who are alumni. In addition, OWU’s library and aquatics center are named in honor of the grandparents of two new Bishops.

One of those namesakes is Jordan Larkin, the fourth generation in her family to attend Ohio Wesleyan. She follows in the footsteps of mother Laurie Meek Larkin ’92; grandparents Phil and Nancy Meek ’59, and great-grandfather Joe Meek ’26.

“I’m excited to meet people; it’s been a long time coming,” said Larkin, who first came to campus when she was 7 months old for her mother’s five-year reunion.

In his Convocation remarks, President Rock Jones told the new students their Ohio Wesleyan liberal arts education should not only benefit them, but the world as well.

“This education is not just about you,” Jones said, also explaining the legacy of politics and government professor Ben Arneson, who founded the University’s Arneson Institute for Practical Government and Public Affairs following World War II.

“With the advantage of an OWU education,” Jones said, “you will be ready to devote your life to serving the public good, whether as a research scientist, a performing artist, a school teacher, an entrepreneur in business, or a leader in social service.”

Student government president Lauren Holler ’15 also discussed how Ohio Wesleyan prepared her for leadership and service, and how she at struggled shifting from high school to college as a freshman.

“I am so thankful for the OWU community, because it’s the community – the professors, the staff, my peers – and all the opportunities here that helped me through this challenging period in my experience,” she said.

“I guarantee you, every single student has faced some significant challenge or roadblock during their time at this college,” Holler said. “My advice to you, as freshmen, is to embrace those challenges.”

Freshman Lucas Gould is ready to embrace challenges in the classroom and on the basketball court. He already has met coaches and players and hopes to join the Battling Bishops varsity team. But why exactly did he choose OWU?

“It seemed like a really good school to go to,” he said.

Photos from the Day
Move-In Day Convocation New Student and Family Picnic Video from the Ceremony