Mansfield University begins 164th academic year

MANSFIELD, PA—The 164th academic year is underway at Mansfield University, as classes started on Monday, August 23.

The university welcomed over 500 new students from 19 states to the university. First-year and returning students moved into the on-campus residence halls and participated in Mountie Days activities during the opening weekend ahead of the first week of classes. The weekend events provided a launching pad to help the new and reuniting Mounties transition to their life on campus.

The Spirit and The Pride of Pennsylvania Marching Band welcomed faculty and the incoming class to Straughn Hall for the Convocation ceremony on Friday, August 20. Convocation, the official welcome to the new academic year, is hosted by the Mansfield University Faculty Senate.

Interim President Dr. Bashar Hanna greeted the incoming class at the ceremony, noting that, like them, this was his first semester at Mansfield, too. “In just a short three years and nine months, your journey at Mansfield will conclude in May 2025, with you walking across the stage with a Mansfield degree.” 

The ceremony’s featured speaker was Dr. Matthew Haner, Professor in the Department of Business Administration, Mathematics and Computer Information Systems.

He extended a special welcome to the international students. “Back when I was in school, the international students really opened my eyes to how big the world is. You never realize how much of an influence home has on how you think until you get to know people from outside your bubble.” Mansfield welcomed students from Spain, Israel, China, Germany, France, and other countries this semester.

Haner’s grandfather, William Haner, was a decorated World War II veteran and enrolled at Mansfield after a 20-year career in the Army. He graduated from Mansfield in 1967.

“His choice to enroll here at MU propelled my family firmly into the middle class, eventually giving people like me a chance to go to 20th grade” said Haner. “Yes, the world has changed a lot since 1967. But an education at Mansfield has not, and it’s backed by data. It’s still a great step towards a more comfortable future. The same step you have chosen.”

On Monday, President Hanna greeted the campus community with a welcome video message, assuring new students that faculty, staff, and upperclassmen are here to help them. “We are all invested in your success.” Hanna also met in-person with students and employees to welcome them back to campus and to learn more about Mansfield University.

This semester marks a return to full in-person classes at the university since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.