Tigers Ducks Hawks Oh My

Tigers, Ducks, and Hawks Oh My!

What’s better than being named a Top 10 college in New Jersey? Being named a Top 5 college! What’s better than that? Top 3! Wait, slow down everyone, we’re not there just yet. But 2018 is just around the corner and Monmouth is bound to continue to be recognized by both the state and national polls as a highly acclaimed university that excels in both academics and athletics.

In the 2017 rankings done by US News Monmouth University was ranked fourth in terms of overall status in various categories. This is obviously very exciting for the students, staff, and faculty members of the University.

Being recognized is a major achievement for the university. As we all know, Monmouth is persistent when it comes to keeping the campus updated and looking incredible, with new buildings being constructed such as Pozycki Hall, which was finished in 2016, and the new additions being done to both Edison Hall and Monmouth’s Henni & John Kessler Stadium.

This is clearly something that both members of the campus can appreciate as well as visitors who come to view our school can see. Yet, Monmouth does not forget its rich history. Even with all the new updates and renovations, the campus can still boast beautiful buildings such as Wilson Hall and the Guggenheim Library that are well preserved and full of character.

So, what does this mean for school morale, and the future of Monmouth? That would involve some running around campus and quick interviews with fellow students. For starters, it was important to figure out how this could potentially help our athletics teams in terms of team spirit and in helping them with recruitment.

Ryan Byrd, a senior Psychology student and a fourth year outfielder for the baseball team, said, “I think it’s phenomenal for Monmouth to get the recognition for the Top 5 [colleges] in New Jersey. Obviously Professors and staff here don’t work for the awards, but it is great to recognize the hard work and dedication everyone on campus puts in to help everyone excel. As always, I’m proud to be a Monmouth student, fly hawks!”

“All athletes know that academic success is as important as athletic success, so it is helpful for us when potential recruits, and especially their parents, get to see that their child will not just be coming here to play sports, because the University has so much more to offer,” Byrd said.

Half the battle of getting into college is getting your parents support with it, so our new Top 5 ranking will be sure to pull some more hawks in.

As for the general morale around campus, most students were equally surprised and excited to hear that Monmouth had earned such a prestigious ranking. A senior English student, Zachary Wheatley, said, “Cool! I like to hear that. I think it’s great that Monmouth is being recognized for all that they do.”

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, a professor for the Department of Political Science and Sociology, said, “I’m not only a professor, but a Monmouth graduate; I’ve been involved with the university for 40 years. The progress is tremendous for faculty and students alike.”

“It’s [our ranking] an accomplishment and will help with our image and advancements, academically and otherwise,” he said.

“Not many universities can declare to the world we are highly ranked. We are on a positive trajectory that reflects the school. It is not from the impact of the work of an individual, but the effects of so many, to advance the university forward,” Sarsar continued.

Something interesting that did come from the discussions had, was that students were not surprised because they felt Monmouth did not earn the ranking, more so because Monmouth was able to compete with colleges that have long been the main discussion of New Jersey, such as Princeton, Stevens, and TCNJ. That really does speak to the strides that this University has been taking to get its name in the discussion when it comes to this state’s most promising schools.

One student who was not surprised was Kara D’Antoni, a junior communication student, said, “Well, I think one of the biggest reasons our school is getting more recognition is because of how beautiful our campus is; every time I talk to someone about Monmouth, that’s the first thing they bring up.”

“Hopefully it gives more students a better appreciation for our school because I think we should be thankful we go to a pretty great school,” she said.

It was definitely refreshing to hear from a student who was not as surprised to hear of Monmouth’s success, but it is also understandable to have some astonishment over such a high ranking. Thinking of just how many colleges are in New Jersey, being number 4 is really something amazing, and a testament of all the accomplishments of both the students, faculty, and professors.

Hopefully next year, in 2018, Monmouth will push their way out of top 5 and into top 3.

So, watch out Tigers of Princeton and Stevens Ducks, because the Hawks have a taste for glory, and we want the top spot!

PHOTO TAKEN by Nicole Riddle