Casey Clemetsen ’20 was one of seven 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 recounts the day she opened her door to a world of opportunities through SJU.
I was in seventh grade when I attended my very first SJU basketball game. I was enthralled. The chants, the Hawk, the spirit, the band, all of it. Never could I have imagined that 5 years later, I’d answer a doorbell while holding my crying two-year-old nephew to see 18 SJU clad people, the Hawk, the drum, and that #redenvelope right on the front step.
It was supposed to be any other chaotic day of high school life. Straight from school I was to go babysit at my sister’s house, go to work at a local daycare, then dance class, eventually getting home around 9 p.m. to study. I arrived at my sister’s house and was greeted by my niece and nephew all decked out in their SJU gear, which is usually reserved for game days. My sister murmured some story about them demanding to wear that today and trailed off. I should have known then, but I instead relished the toddlers’ snotty, wet kisses and hugs. Ten minutes before they were supposed to leave, my parents showed up at my sister’s house to “pop in,” then my grandma too. This should have been a hint immediately that something was going on, but relatives were often hijacking my nephew and niece time so I still didn’t suspect anything.
My sister and brother-in-law finally left (I later learned they were stalling because the #redenvelope crew was running a bit late!) and immediately my nephew started crying so I held him, trying to calm him down. My mom knew the #redenvelope team would be at the door soon so she was trying to take Connor out of my hands. At this point I was annoyed with her, so when I heard the doorbell ring it didn’t even faze me. I immediately stood up to answer the door, still holding a crying toddler.
And there they were: the Saint Joseph’s Hawk himself and several SJU students and admissions counselors. I passed Connor to my mom immediately and excitedly stepped outside into the cold with just my socks on. The legendary snap of my reaction only had the caption “#nicesocks.” Kelly McGlynn, an admissions counselor, handed me my Red Envelope and I was in total shock at what was in front of me. They started the same SJU cheer that I had heard at the basketball games that I had come to love so much.
I personally felt more love and family than ever before with SJU. It was such a comfort to be so overwhelmingly and intentionally welcomed into a community. This sense of family spirit is the number one reason why I choose Saint Joe’s as my college. After my first semester I can easily say this spirit does not die down, you can still find it alive and well on campus. I am more than happy to further my education in a community that is more like a family than a school. I hold Hawk Hill and my new friends near and dear to my heart and I couldn’t imagine what would have happened if I had picked any other school….but how could I? What other school gives out hand-delivered acceptance letters and personal congratulations on acceptance videos?? Now that’s the magis.
Casey Clemetsen is a freshman Marketing major. She works in the SJU Office of Undergraduate Admission as an Office Hawk. On the weekends, you can find Casey at her dance studio where she grew up, now teaching two dance classes to kids. She is also very interested in photography and loves going into the city to take pictures!