BRISTOL, R.I. – The start of the academic year brings with it the start of the college experience for first-year students around the country. At RWU that's no different. The RWU Class of 2022 arrived to mark the start of their four-year journey at RWU just last week but they've already made their stamp on our community and in the state. Take a look at how this year's wave of freshmen kicked off their year in the photo gallery below: Class of 2022 Kickoff About 1,100 new Hawks arrived to settle in their new home over a two-day span. Among them was Matt Robinson, a biochemistry major from Westerly, Rhode Island. Hanna Clark, a marketing major from Essex, Connecticut, had her whole family helping settle her in. She's excited to get started in the Gabelli School of Business and getting to know her classmates. On the Monday before classes begin, every member of the freshman class took part in a beloved Roger Williams University tradition: Dedicating a full day of service to local community organizations. Casey Pender (center), a business major from Garwood, New Jersey, cherished the human connection she made while listening to stories of residents at Franklin Court, an independent and assisted living facility in Bristol where she completed her service. “I was really close to my grandmother, who recently passed away, so being able to talk to the residents and have a connection with them is rewarding. You never know, so being able to touch their lives is important.” Prashant Chavili, a criminal justice major from Brookline, MA said the experience got him out of his comfort zone and helped him interact with more of his classmates. The service aspect was also rewarding, he said as he worked to clean blue blocks children use for open-ended play at Burnside Park in Providence. “It’s good giving back to the community,” he said. Convocation signals the start of a new academic year. Here, members of the class of 2022 made their way down to the field where the event was held. About 1,100 first-year students watched and were inspired as speakers, like Interim RWU President Andrew Workman, welcomed them to their first year at RWU. The first days of classes bring a whole new set of learning to students, but also the opportunity to learn with and from their classmates and faculty. In professor Alan Canestrari's Foundations of Education class students worked in small groups to develop hypothesis and make observations on a problem he posed to them. They shared the theories among themselves and with their professor. Canestrari came by the tables to speak with students as a group and on a one-to-one level as he did here with Ava Wilkens, a first-year elementary major.