University Park, IL,
09:32 AM

GSU 2018 Signing Day

With high school graduation still days ahead for some, the members of the class of 2022 received a warm welcome to Governors State University May 9 at a special ceremony to celebrate their commitment to the university.

Dozens of incoming freshmen, flanked by smiling family members, turned out for the university’s 3rd Annual Signing Day, an event originally launched by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2015 to shine a spotlight on students preparing to attend a college or university. Those who committed to attending GSU by May 1 received a $200 book store voucher and an invitation to a buffet dinner and celebration at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts.

Dr. Elaine P. Maimon, GSU president, welcomed students to the GSU family. “We know there are a number of questions going through your mind right now, like ‘Did I make the right choice?’“Yes,” she assured them, “you did.”Dr. Maimon also acknowledged other unspoken concerns, posing questions and answering them easily.

“The biggest question you have is, ‘Will I make friends?’ We’ve thought about that for you, and one thing we know, because we’re researchers, is that if we put you in what we call learning communities—and what that means is you’ll be taking at least two classes with the same group of students —you can’t help but make friends because you’ll be sharing those experiences in the classroom.”

Dr. Maimon addressed her next point to family members as well as incoming students, noting that the FBI has rated GSU’s campus the safest in Illinois and the eighth safest in the country.

As for academics, Dr. Maimon said, “You will have a freshman experience like no other. Every class you take will be taught by a full-time faculty member, and no class will be larger than 30 students.”

Elizabeth Cada, GSU Provost, also extended a warm welcome. “We are so excited. As you are committing to us, we are committing to you,” she said.

“This is a very symbolic and celebratory evening. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you. Because we know how hard you worked through your high school years, and the decisions you had to make to choose a program and college that’s going to begin you on your journey.”

Incoming students also got helpful advice from Justin Smith, Student Body President and graduating senior. “When you get here, find a study buddy, Find your community. Find a friend,” he said.

Among those at the celebration were Colton Krska of Monee. The valedictorian of Peotone High School’s class of 2018, he chose GSU for its accounting program and also its location close to home. His first visit to campus the summer before his junior year made a strong impression. “Everyone was very friendly,” he said. “I really felt welcome here.”

Colton was awarded the Presidential Scholarship, a renewable award that covers tuition, fees, housing and $500 each semester toward books each year for four years.

A second scholarship, the Deans Scholar Award, went to Maya Walker of Glendale, Ariz. It will cover $2,500 toward GSU expenses each year as well as a stipend of $500 each semester for bookstore expenses.

Paul McGuinness, GSU Executive Director for Enrollment Management and Director of Admissions, said the number of incoming freshmen, nearly 90, is slightly higher than last year, and added, ‘’We always want more students to make early decisions because we know it increases the odds of their success.”

It’s not too late to pay your $50 deposit and attend the next Resources, Orientation, Advising and Registration (ROAR) orientation on Wednesday, June 13. Every GSU freshman, regardless of major, will receive a laptop and join a cohort that be focused on one of three overarching academic themes: Civic Engagement, Global Citizenship or Sustainability.