PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Saint Leo University is welcoming its largest incoming class in school history.

What You Need To Know

  • Saint Leo will have 2,500 students on their Pasco County campus this semester, most in school history

  • Among the incoming class of 1,100, 25% are international students

  • Campus is now fully back open

The school is asking students and staff to wear masks inside. Vaccines are being encouraged for them as well.

Students moved in on Saturday, hoping for a more normal fall semester than last year.

“To be honest, I was so frustrated I was not able to get here last fall,” student Angelica Molina told Spectrum Bay News 9. “I had to learn to do everything online.”

Molina is from Colombia. She’s one of a growing number of international students from 50 countries now attending Saint Leo.

“I see people from everywhere in the world,” she said. “And I love to listen to their culture. And different languages. It gives me the experience that I need as a global studies major, and I love that international community.”

In fact, the university is now welcoming its biggest incoming class ever.

In total, it'll have close to 2,500 students this semester on the Pasco County campus. Of the 1,100 students in the incoming class, 25% are from other countries.

“Our mission is to expand,” said University President Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese. “Our mission is to reach as many people as we can. It feels good to have that kind of growth.”

Due to COVID-19, the school is asking students and staff to wear masks inside. Vaccines are being encouraged for them, as well.

The school also held its orientation on Saturday drive-thru style, in part for safety.

But dorms are all full right now, like more normal times. Campus is open as are university sports.  

“It feels a lot better than last fall,” Senese said.

Though more students are moving in than ever before, many like Molina still appreciate the personal setting at Saint Leo.

“I was looking for a university that was small — that would know me as a person rather than a number," she said.

Classes begin on Tuesday.