Back-to-School Tip Sheet
Story Ideas and Photo
Opportunities Available at Catholic University
Catholic University will welcome approximately 2,650 undergraduate
and 2,950 graduate students to campus on Monday, Aug. 25, 2003.
Following are some facts about CUA’s enrollment and housing this school year,
along with story ideas for back-to-school coverage.
Television crews seeking B-roll footage of new students on
campus can get video prior to the first day of school by attending CUA’s new
student orientation, to be held Thursday, Aug. 21, 2002, through Sunday,
Aug. 24, 2002. More than 1,600 freshmen and transfer students and their
families will be attending educational sessions, mixers, skits, book discussion
groups and other events designed to help them make the high school-to-college
transition. Families also will help students move into their residence halls
during this time.
CUA admissions, housing and student orientation officers and
student life staff are available to comment for back-to-school stories. To
arrange interviews or other coverage, call Chris Harrison at 202-319-5600.
Student Orientation: Aug. 21 – Aug. 24, 2003
Move into Residence Halls: Aug. 21
Aug. 23-24 (returning students)
CUA First Day of Classes: Aug. 25, 2003
The trend toward increased graduate school admissions during
a depressed economic period seems to be holding at CUA this fall: graduate
applications are up significantly, particularly in the professional schools,
with an expected 40 percent increase in new graduate students submitting
deposits* compared to this time last year. Approximately 2,950 new and
returning law/graduate students will attend CUA this fall, compared to 2,859
* Final enrollment numbers will be available in September.
CUA’s more than 2,078 housing
slots are nearly filled, says Katherine Boone, CUA director of housing and
residential services. A renovation of two halls on campus has created 38 more
spaces for students this fall. CUA will have 1,300 returning students living on
campus in fall 2003, as well as 650 freshman/transfer students living in the
Story Ideas at
Bring on the Books
New students at The
Catholic University of America already will have had a homework assignment before
they set foot on campus in late August. Designed to foster faculty-student
interaction, the Readers Program asks students to read one of 15 books over the
summer, so they can talk about what they’ve read at orientation during a group
discussion with a professor and other students who choose the same book. If the
program sounds like a route to early burn-out for students, take note – summer
readers programs actually have the opposite effect, said CUA Assistant Dean of
Students Ellen Breipohl Thorp, who directs orientation activities like the
Readers Program. “Research in our field shows that one of the primary
contributing factors to students progressing to graduation is their interaction
with faculty members outside of the classroom,” Thorp said. “So we’re putting
them in a setting where they can connect with a faculty member as soon as they
get to campus.”
Miss District of Columbia, Junior Miss Rhode
Island, and Junior Miss Maryland all will be students at CUA
this fall. Music major Lisa Ferris,
a rising junior, will use her time as Miss D.C. 2003 to fight childhood obesity
by promoting nutrition and exercise for children. She will compete in the Miss
America pageant this October. Ferris may be able to practice her talent portion
– singing – with Louis Gazzara, an incoming freshman who competed on the
talent show sensation “American Idol” last year. Gazzara, from
Hammonton, N.J., was one of the show’s top 32 contestants.
Faith, Forming Intellect
will have some help finding the intersection between faith and reason — the
topic of a 1998 encyclical from Pope John Paul II — in a new four-part
discussion series co-sponsored by CUA’s School of Philosophy and Division of
Student Life. Called “Exploring Faith and Forming Intellect,” the Sept. 23—Nov.
4 series explores issues of faith and reason, led each week by two different
philosophy professors who will offer short presentations and then participate
in a discussion with students. “College students are in the process of forming
themselves intellectually, as they study and decide what they want to major in.
They’re asking questions, establishing opinions — this is the time when they’re
trying to fit things together,” said Jean De Groot, associate dean of philosophy.
“The series will offer students a chance to have a dialogue with professors
about how reason helps to unify the spiritual and intellectual aspects of our
lives. The aim is to provide a framework for reflection on modern life and the
culture in which we’re living.”
CUA’s top-ranked debate program
will add 10 more star debaters to its roster this fall including incoming
freshman Allison McCarthy, who consistently placed in the top 10 at
invitational debate tournaments throughout the United States, and Daryl Lloyd
who came in third in the original oratory category at last year’s Yale National
Invitational Tournament. CUA will host the National Debate Tournament for the first time April 1-4, 2004.
Franciscan friars from Campus
Ministry help students settle in and set their intentions for the coming school
year with a “Room Blessing” ritual that has grown in popularity over the past
six years. In recent years approximately three-quarters of students living on
campus have taken part in the back-to-school ritual. Room blessings begin on Sept. 1 and continue until Sept. 25.
For additional information or to arrange interviews with
CUA staff, contact Chris Harrison in the Office of Public Affairs at
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All contents copyright © 2003.
The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.