Campus excited to welcome new Pioneers

Students wearing HOME T-shirts

It would be easy to assume that Hannah Garofalo ’21 and Theresa “Tree” LaGreca ’21 were lifelong best friends by the way they finished each other’s sentences and joked around during Wednesday’s PioConnect and when most of the Class of 2021 moved into their Marietta College residence halls.

“Actually, we didn’t know each other until last week,” LaGreca, of Pataskala, Ohio, said as she wrote her friend’s name on a whiteboard while Garofalo, of Leetonia, Ohio, was busy completing a photo release form. “I was in the EXCEL workshop. The first day was a bit awkward because I didn’t really know anybody. But the second day, Hannah literally just walked up to me and we hit it off.”

PioConnect officially welcomed the Class of 2021 — comprised of 315 full-time undergraduate students from 21 states and five different countries — to campus for the start of the fall semester. Fall athletes and McDonough Leadership students, like Garofalo and LaGreca, arrived on campus prior to Wednesday.

LaGreca, a soccer player and McDonough scholar, and Garofalo, who is on the women’s golf team, spent the morning going through the registration process for first-year students, though they were able to move into their Mary Beach Hall rooms a week earlier.

The move-in experience this year was a little easier than previous years thanks to the lack of humidity, cooler temperatures and a constant breeze.

Jenna and Rusty Gortner, parents of Lindsey Gortner ’21 of West Salem, Ohio, were excited for their daughter to begin her college career at Marietta.

“Our son just graduated in April from college, so we’ve been through this before,” Jenna said. “(Lindsey’s) playing basketball and softball here. Almost all of her games are going to be close enough to get to, so that’s good.”

Madelyn Nader ’21, of Vermillion, Ohio, arrived bright and early to go through registration and receive her room key. An impromptu tour of campus was one of the reasons why she chose Marietta College.

“I was down here visiting family and they decided to walk me down here to look at the campus,” Nader said. “It stuck with me, so here I am. I’m thrilled to be here.”