Saint Martin’s University welcomes freshmen

Laurie Herbst of Black Diamond admits that she may have gone a little overboard in outfitting her 18-year-old daughter Madison’s dorm room at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.

“We kind of went crazy and bought a lot of new things,” she said as they unpacked boxes and totes of school supplies, furniture, food and bedding in Parsons Hall on Friday morning. “Her roommate said, ‘Did you bring everything you own?’ ”

The private Benedictine university’s annual Move-In Day for freshman included new student orientation events and a barbecue at SMU President Roy Heynderickx’s house. Classes begin Monday.

Enrollment numbers won’t be released until September, according to university spokeswoman Meg Dwyer. However, here are some statistics she shared about this year’s freshman class:

• 51 percent are female, and 49 percent are male.

• The average grade point is 3.46, “the best GPA ever for freshman,” Dwyer said.

• The most popular majors are biology, mechanical engineering and business administration.

• 40 percent are the first in their families to attend college.

• 45 percent are students of color.

• 25 percent are from out of state. “We have more out-of-state students than ever before,” Dwyer said.

• They hail from 12 different countries, including Brazil, China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Vietnam.

A team of faculty members and upperclassmen helped families lug boxes and furniture into the dorm rooms during the event.

“I absolutely love this experience,” said orientation leader Stacie Pitts, 21, a senior majoring in elementary education. “There’s so much energy.”

Kahili Novikoff, 17, of Hana, Hawaii, said she was excited but a little nervous about her first year of college.

She said her biggest challenges will probably be getting to know new people and adjusting to an environment that’s a lot different than Hawaii.