Dr. John Mills, interim president of Mount Aloysius College, believes these new outdoor elements will bring a fresh view of the collegiate experience. “When I stepped onto campus for the first time and looked around at the rolling hills and breathtaking landscapes, I thought ‘how can we take advantage of this?’” Mills said. “It seemed like everyone on campus was thinking the same thing. We are just getting started with ways to make the most of our beautiful location.”
As part of the College’s new outdoor exploration, a clay sports team will be introduced to Mountie students. The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) sponsors a clay sports league as a club activity for students across the country. Mount Aloysius will offer a clay sports club team that focuses on trap shooting.
Dr. Jane Grassadonia, vice president for student affairs at the College, encourages students who have experience, and those who do not, to try the activity. “Trap shooting teams have grown at the high school level in recent years and there are several in our immediate area. We have students who participate not just in hunting but also in shooting sports and this offers them an opportunity to continue a sport they enjoy and engage further with other students on campus.”
Trap shooting is one of three disciplines of clay pigeon shooting where targets are launched from a single machine a distance away from shooters. The College has developed a program and safety handbook as well as a plethora of safety protocols and systems to ensure the well-being of every student. “We’ve added a secured gun-safe location within our certified campus police department,” Grassadonia added. “There are procedures for transportation and handling.”
In addition to clay sports, the College is offering some new environment-based academic majors including Conservation Law Enforcement and Natural Resource Management. These programs will be outdoor focused and build on the College’s relationship with the the surrounding community as well as the beautiful Laurel Highlands that surround campus.
Mount Aloysius College has also added a 9-hole disc golf course to the western end of campus. The course begins and ends at the rear parking lot of the Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center.
On August 25, first year students will be introduced to local outdoor recreational opportunities through various activities, including cycling, hiking, river tubing, kayaking and even stand up paddle boarding. This is the first of several planned outdoor experiences throughout the semester.
Students at Mount Aloysius pick from over 70 academic programs which statistically earn good jobs or a ready pathway to grad school. Mount Aloysius College’s NCAA Division III athletic status and the developing campus continues attracting students looking for a “next level” college experience.