On January 28, Delbarton hosted its Second Annual Accepted Students Reception and laid out the green carpet for incoming students to the Classes of 2025 and 2023. Excitement was in the air as moms and dads, often accompanied by younger children, dropped off incoming seventh and ninth graders for their first official experience as Delbarton students.
Boys arrived to meet new classmates and quickly donned handsome green baseball caps embroidered with their class years. Current students, teachers and coaches were there to greet them and the atmosphere was abuzz with conversation. The AP Art Exhibit (opening the next day) provided a dynamic backdrop to the late afternoon event, and our always-rocking House Band set up the outdoor speakers and performed live, between event speakers, inside the theater. Student ambassadors greeted each boy with a handshake and a smile, and helped him find his name tag and new (possibly favorite ever) hat.
Boys were soon ushered into the FAC theater where Admissions Dean Dr. David Donovan greeted them and shared comments from Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd, OSB who, out of state for a meeting, was unable to attend. Donovan made it clear that these boys had successfully navigated a very competitive admissions process, and that each was chosen for a reason, "Because we are confident that you will contribute much to this dynamic school." He introduced Middle School Moderator Rick Cimino who gave a crash course in how to remember his name: "Cover your eyes. Can you see me? My name is Mr. 'See-ME-no'!" Freshman Class Moderator Matt Kovachik reiterated the message that each accepted student is valued at Delbarton as they begin their Delbarton experiences.
Next, the boys were warmly welcomed by Student Body President Tom Colicchio '19 who observed that, one day fours years from now, one of them would make a similar speech to another group of incoming students. "This is your home," he said. "These are your brothers."
Colicchio introduced Middle School President Topher Royce '24 (boosted at the podium by a conveniently positioned plastic milk crate) who shared the many reasons why choosing Delbarton is an excellent choice. He got a laugh when he arrived at the always-popular topic of food. "I have two words to describe Sage Dining: life changing."
Ninth grade President Ikenna Amadi '22 next spoke. "You've struck gold," he told the boys. "Here, you'll tap into your potential and learn how to become a man. You'll learn to push yourself towards greatness." Amadi is a resident of Newark who experiences a challenging commute each day. He spoke about Delbarton's atmosphere of inclusiveness and support. "I have never felt out of place here, despite my different background."
Donovan next screened Grant Brewster '17's 'year in the life' film about his freshman year at Delbarton – Brewster's Freshman Project – and, concluding the presentation, Colicchio, Royce and Amadi led the group in its first Breakdown cheer: "What school do you go to? DELBARTON! How do we say it? TOGETHER!"
Finally, accepted students were invited to walk up to the Dining Hall, escorted by student guides, for their first taste of Sage Dining experience: piping hot pizza and make-your-own-sundaes with three varieties of ice cream and all the fixings. Yes, please! Director of Dining Services James DeSilvestri greeted the boys, encouraging their questions, and pointed out that, for boys with allergies, the downloadable Sage Dining app allows diners to filter daily menus for ingredients. He also pointed out that the Delbarton dining hall is a peanut-free environment.
Meanwhile, as boys enjoyed their sundaes, some of their parents discovered the on-campus Delbarton Shop, turning it into a busy retail hub and a great place for new parents to chat with experienced parents.
All in all, our second Accepted Students Reception was a wonderful introduction to Delbarton life. Attendees looked excited to be here, and eager to begin their Delbarton adventures. Thank you to our Student Ambassadors and faculty members to making these gents feel so at home. We echo Dr. Donovan's cordial welcome to these boys and their families. As Colicchio told them, "It's not just what Delbarton will do for you. It's what you will contribute to this amazing school."