A Message from Saint Michael's College President John Neuhauser
I offer each of you new students a warm and sincere welcome to Saint Michael's College. You are entering a new community with its own set of explicit and implicit norms which you will have to learn. Leaving all that is familiar and comfortable is not easy, despite the brave front we all put on. There will likely be times of homesickness and loneliness - as much or more so for your parents - but it is part of the gamble that each generation takes. With a little luck, some hard work and an open mind, this will be a grand experience, one of the very few that lasts a lifetime. You have been given a four-year window that can change you profoundly, if you let it. You will leave with great friends and great memories.
But as important as memories are, we have other expectations for you as well. Saint Michael's College takes the role of student formation very seriously. By student formation I do not mean indoctrination or imposing values from the outside. Rather, these four years at a residential college with a long academic tradition ought to provide the opportunity for each individual to grow along three dimensions: intellectual, social, and moral or spiritual.
We believe each student should be presented with standards for intellectual growth based on evidence, standards for social behavior that encourage respect and understanding for others, and standards for moral and spiritual development which enable one to interpret the world and decide freely on the precepts that will guide their own life. We are about helping you develop habits of heart and mind.
That is what a Catholic liberal arts college can provide - development of the whole person, not parts of a person. No other period of your life will permit such intense change, so I ask you to embrace all of it with seriousness and with joy.
This is a warm and supportive community. It will welcome and nurture you and provide comfort in times of trouble. The faculty and staff are here to help, so use them. We all need a hand at times, so never hesitate to ask for assistance. That’s why we are here.
One final caution: the start is very important. In my experience, the first six weeks are critical for they set the tone, not only for your college years, but for a lifetime. Begin well, and the rest is easy.