Class of 2025 Celebrates Accepted Student’s Day


Courtesy of Villanova University

On April 10, the University hosted a virtual Accepted Student’s Day. 

Garrett Whitton, Staff Writer

Look out for any Blue Key Society members walking backward during their growing amount of tours after a long and unanticipated pause from COVID-19. 

Though tours are back, the University and the Society were unable to host an in-person Admitted Students Day. Usually, this day helps high schoolers and their parents see that the University is the best college for them. This year, the admissions office and student organizations did things a little differently. 

On April 10, the University released a video to every high school student around the country who was accepted. The 40-minute video offered fun facts about the admitted class’s demographics, explained the academic excellence of current students, gave a flyover tour of campus and emphasized what it means to be a part of the Villanova Community.

After opening the YouTube link sent to their emails, a blue graphic showing the year “2025” welcomed the admitted students to a day dedicated to them. The video also displayed an 18-minute countdown clock in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. While students and their parents waited for it to run out of time, they were presented with facts about the applicant pool. This year, the University set a record with more than 24,400 applications for a target class size of only 1,675 students. This fact was shared to evoke pride in those who earned a spot. The following graphics showed that applications had been received from all 50 states, Washington D.C., the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and 99 other countries. The University ended up admitting students from 48 states and 57 countries. 

After a brief slideshow demonstrating the excitement of those accepted, the graphics switched the focus to them and praised their résumés. Sixty-two percent of the admitted students are in the top five percent of their high school classes, 83% are in the top 10% and 91% are in the top 15%. The University is proud to have received such an impressive applicant pool. All graphics repeated themselves until the countdown hit zero. 

Once the clock ran out of time, a video of Will D. Cat, the University’s mascot, appeared. He led the camera through a group of students who were holding up signs congratulating the admitted students. At the end of his walk, he faded out in a transition to a video frame showing University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. After he introduced himself, Donohue quoted St. Augustine encouraging the students to “become what you are not yet.” 

“It brings to mind what Villanova will do for those who join our community,” Donohue said. 

He made sure to emphasize the importance of “community” throughout his speech and told students they would become true Villanovans by practicing the University’s three pillars of Unity, Truth and Love. Donohue then talked about who and what students will encounter around campus over their four years and gave them hope for what comes after graduating.

“Villanovans believe that the best way to improve one’s life is to improve the lives of others,” Donohue said. 

He ended his address to the students by mentioning they will always have a home at the University if they choose to attend, and they should never hesitate to be part of the community. He encouraged students and their parents to ask questions, explore what the University has to offer and make the most of what the unusual virtual format provides.

The next individual students heard from was Caitlin O’Leary, a senior sociology major from Clayton, California. She gave an outline for the rest of the video, saying that everyone will meet some faculty members and students. The clip of O’Leary faded away, and a title screen appeared which read, “Are you a Villanovan?” The audience then heard Jose Garcia tell his acceptance story. 

“I just remember knowing that whatever I do here, not only academically, but also extracurricularly, I will, as a person, I will grow my leadership skills, and I would be successful no matter what,” the sophomore accounting major said.

O’Leary reappeared and shared her story. Then, Graciela Petrelli, a sophomore who works for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, also shared her story and spoke about how she has experienced community on campus. 

“Community is one of the big things, one of the big pillars at Villanova, but you don’t really understand it until you get here,” Petrelli said.

She admired how the University told her it would be an honor for them to have a student like her, whereas other schools seemed to convey that it would be an honor for her to attend a school like theirs.

“It was the first place where I felt truly welcomed,” she said. 

The video then cut to a montage of others that had been recorded before the pandemic. A voiceover explained what makes someone a Villanovan, listed accomplishments of what students have done after graduating, described the University’s location and said that there are more than 125,000 alumni worldwide that are eager to help students with their careers.

Next, another title screen appeared that read, “Academic Excellence,” and Petrelli came back. She explained her involvement on campus and said that, since she works for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, she hears what many students are doing. This helps her understand the academic excellence exhibited around campus. The video then showed University Provost, Patrick Maggitti, Ph.D. He congratulated the students on being accepted, explained his role and made sure the admitted students know that they will be supported outside of the classroom by faculty and staff. 

“Together, we make sure our students receive an excellent and transformative academic experience,” Maggitti said. 

After he finished speaking, another title screen appeared that said, “Your New Home.” It was followed by a flyover tour of the University’s campus, showing student life and different buildings. It ended with footage from inside the Finneran Pavilion. 

 The final title screen showed a frame that read, “The Villanova Community.” In this section of the video, Garcia and O’Leary shared how they were accepted into the community right when they stepped foot on campus. Through different clubs, organizations, classes and dorm life, they made many friends and immediately fell in love with the choice they had made in attending Villanova University. 

The Virtual Admitted Students Day video came to a close with another walk through the line of current students holding up posters, yelling, “Welcome to Villanova class of 2025!” It ended by instructing the students and their parents to check their emails to view the complete schedule for what came next.