By VICTORIA MESCALL
US World News Report recently released its list of the Most Innovative Schools in the North, and Sacred Heart University was listed as #4.
Sacred Heart sits behind three universities: Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH, Champlain College in Burlington, VT, and Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.
“Especially for a private Catholic institution, I feel as if we have the resources and support here that makes us rooted in our values but open to change,” said senior Rachel Zacharczyk.
This semester the university welcomed a grand total of 1,420 first-year students to campus, breaking the record for the largest freshman class ever to enroll at Sacred Heart.
The class of 2021 was selected from nearly 10,000 applicants and is the most academically-gifted and talented freshman class to date. The average GPA of the class is a 3.5 and their combined scores and size break the record of the last four record-holding freshman classes.
The class of 2021 is coming to Connecticut from 10 different countries and 24 states ranging from coast to coast. According to the Sacred Heart Magazine, the class also includes five sets of twins and a set of triplets.
“Coming from Hawaii to Connecticut has been an extreme culture shock,” said freshman Marcus Eugenio-Mendoza. “Everything from the way we interact with each other, to the clothes we wear and the type of environment we live in is different. The reason why I chose SHU over all the other colleges I was accepted to was, because SHU would expose me to a new type of culture and allow me to meet people of various backgrounds. Most kids from Hawaii go to west coast schools in Washington, Oregon, or California. Immersing myself in a place not many people from Hawaii would consider would allow me to see things differently.”
The land area and the construction on campus is expanding wildly. As more national organizations recognize and praise the university, so do prospective families.
“Being a Student Ambassador has been one of the greatest experiences I have had at Sacred Heart,” said junior Nikki Bettenelli. “It is so special to be a part of an organization that welcomes the future Pioneers of Sacred Heart University. This past year we accepted our largest class ever and I’m proud to say that I participated in that recruitment along with over 100 Student Ambassadors. I know current students and prospective students alike are excited by all of the new changes and growth occurring here at the university. I know how special it feels to give tours and see all the faces light up while walking past our new JP’s Diner, or any other new addition to our campus. It’s priceless.”
Sacred Heart was also recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education when it was included in the annually-published Best 382 Colleges guidebook. The Princeton Review also gave Sacred Heart accolades when it placed Sacred Heart as the 18th “Best College Theater in the Nation” and on the list as one of the “Most Engaged in Community Service,” which only featured 20 other schools.