Incoming CBA freshman Ryan Kramer is introduced to a package of laundry detergent by his mother, Mary Beth.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

There’s not much moving on an early Sunday morning in New York. But at 8 a.m. on Aug. 30, Fordham’s campuses in Manhattan and the Bronx were a flurry of sound and motion.

That was the day members of the Class of 2013 officially became part of the Fordham community—and what a welcome they received.

More than 200 student orientation leaders lined the sidewalks leading to the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center dormitories, showering cheers and applause on the incoming freshmen and whisking away their luggage as soon as they arrived.

“Everyone’s so excited; everyone’s so happy. I didn’t have to carry anything,” said Bianca Cesario, who is entering Fordham College at Rose Hill.

The move-in program, which spearheads three days of new student orientation, is run by the University’s Office of Student Life and Community Development (OSLCD).

Cesario traveled from Matawan, N.J. with her parents and two brothers, and was among the first to arrive. While negotiating the boxes and bundles that occupied much of her dorm room floor, her parents commented on their eldest child entering college.

“It hasn’t hit us yet, but it probably will on the way home,” said Carol, her mother.

“The boys are looking forward to her room,” added her father, Sal. “They’ve already got the PlayStation set up in there.”

“They’ve been sad,” Cesario confided.

This was the 18th admissions cycle in a row that Fordham has set a new high in applications, with 24,464 high school students vying for acceptance letters—a 3 percent increase over the previous year.

Cesario is one of roughly 1,800 freshmen at Fordham. Preliminary estimates indicate that 1,356 will study at the Rose Hill campus and 443 will call Lincoln Center home.

The average SAT score for the class is 1240, which represents a nice increase from 1228 last year.

“This class is among the most talented and diverse that we’ve had in years and, I would venture, in the history of the University,” said John W. Buckley, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment.

Geographically diverse, these freshmen hail from 40 states plus the District of Columbia. Forty-one students are from other countries, and 26 are international students who were studying at high schools in the United States.

In a room a few floors below the Cesarios, Ryan Kramer watched his mother and grandmother set up his room with near-military precision.

“I’ve just got to stay on task,” said his mother, Mary Beth. She did, however, take a moment to remind her son what laundry detergent looks like.

“We were packing to come here, and I told him, ‘Here’s the container with the Purex in it,’ and do you know what he said? ‘What the heck is that?’

“You make me so nervous!” she told her son.

Kramer, who left Albany, N.Y. just after 6 a.m., will be entering the College of Business Administration.

“I love cities,” he said. “I only looked at schools in New York and Boston, and Fordham was the right place for me.”

Meanwhile, at the Lincoln Center campus, Patrick Kelly and his parents had just finished settling into a five-person suite in McMahon Hall.

It wasn’t too difficult to unpack; Kelly had brought only four bags of clothes and other necessities on the journey from his home in Wisconsin.

“My sister goes to the University of Wisconsin, but I like the East Coast and I wanted to get away,” he said.

If Kelly’s parents were unsure about their son’s decision to attend college so far away from home, it didn’t show.

“We’re excited—very excited about it,” said his father, Mike. “Fordham is a great Jesuit school, and this will be a great Jesuit education for him in the heart of New York City.”

Many of the parents were also excited about the helping hands they received from the student orientation leaders.

“Parents respond very positively to the efforts of our orientation leaders,” said Christopher Rogers, dean of students at the Rose Hill campus, who added that this year marked the largest cohort of student volunteers in his two decades at Fordham.

“We hear from parents with some regularity how much they appreciate it,” he said.

The Class of 2013 is also multicultural. African American, Asian and Hispanic students account for 28 percent of the roster. Asians make up 12 percent of the class, which is a 13 percent increase over last year.