Megan Gentleman ’20 was one of six students whose SJU acceptance letter was hand-delivered to her last year by Admissions Counselors, Hawk Hosts, and the Hawk himself. One year later, she reflects on what the experience has meant to her. 


On the morning of December 18th, I never expected my life to change. It was simply going to be my first time skipping class. I’d told my mom that I needed a break and wouldn’t be missing anything, and to my surprise she told me to stay home.


Megan was surprised to see 18 Hawks at her door, but the joy was evident on her face.

That morning  I woke up around 9:30, refreshed and happy I that had been able to sleep in. My dad brought us egg sandwiches from a local deli since he and my mom were working from home like they usually do on Fridays. The rest of the morning passed as simply a calm morning of sitting around snuggling my dogs. However, I missed more signs of something unusual coming when my mom advised me to wear something nice and do my makeup after I took a shower.

It was finally around noon and we were thinking about going out for lunch soon. My mom said my dad had to finish a call so we should just watch a TV show and wait for him. “What about that show you’re always trying to get me to watch? Arrow?” she questioned. I know that my mom doesn’t share my taste in television, but I was so excited to show her one of my favorite shows and went and turned it on. For about fifteen minutes I explained who the characters were and answered her questions. Then the doorbell rang.

I went to answer it and to my surprise, I saw a Hawk in the window. In my confusion I exclaimed “There’s a Hawk at the door!” When I tore open the door I was greeted by cheers, yelling, and the banging of the drum. My mom and my dad came behind me, clearly having known about this visit, and I stepped outside overwhelmed with the scene. I was simply speechless while my mom cried out in joy.


The Class of 2020 #redenvelope team with Megan and her family.

Then Abbey Carr, the Admissions Counselor for my hometown, came up to my porch and handed me my red envelope. I was so overwhelmed I could barely even open the letter when Abbey asked me to read it out loud. I’d never had something so amazing happen to me. I knew the red envelopes were being mailed that day, but I had never imagined being accepted in this way to my top-choice school. I truly could not dream of a better beginning to my experience than that scene where I was surrounded by welcoming and loving students who had taken time out of their day to welcome new students to Saint Joseph’s because they love it so much.

December 18th was an amazing welcome to this incredible University that has already brought me so much joy, and I can’t wait to share this experience with other students this year to continue this awesome tradition. Good luck to all applicants, and remember that the red envelope always brings good news!





Megan Gentleman is a freshman Chemical Biology major from Collegeville, PA. She’s already involved on campus with PSIP, MAGIS, Ignite, Winter Immersion Program, APEX, and Women’s Leadership Initiative. In her spare time, she can be found reading, listening to music, or hanging out with her new friends at home on Hawk Hill.