Dean Jose Sartarelli was given the opportunity to speak to hundreds of new Mountaineers in June as incoming students and parents attended New Student Orientation.
The dean told them to "really enjoy your educational experience and get the most out of it that you can."
To do this, Sartarelli said, they should work hard and make their educational journey as rich as possible.
"The next four years can be the best years of your life," he said.
He encouraged them to "build bridges" by meeting people and "building relationships, many of which will last a lifetime."
"This is a time of relative freedom for you, and it's a great time for you to establish connections and friendships that will be rewarding and long-lasting," he said.
In addition, Dean Sartarelli encouraged the new students to broaden their educations with at least one travel-abroad trip. These, he said, are life-changing experiences and are often described by students as the highlight of their time in college.
"Travel will mature you," he said. "Don't stay on the beaten path, either. When you travel, and I think you should, think about destinations such as China, Africa, Brazil, countries that you might not have thought to visit."
A new student gets his ID photo taken at the Mountainlair
The dean, who was recently named WVU's chief global officer, told his audience that they should definitely study a foreign language in order to be successful in a world with interconnected businesses and cultures.
New Student Orientation ran from June 3 to June 26 with some 250 students attending daily. Courtney Jennings, who coordinates the program for Academic Affairs, said Sartarelli's participation helped students get acquainted with college life and what WVU has to offer.
"His talk was excellent at getting these students rolling," she said. "Also, the fact that the dean took time to talk to them shows how important it is, and the emphasis WVU puts on getting our new students off to a good start.
Approximately 4,000 incoming freshmen and their parents attended New Student Orientation.
Students were able to get a jump-start on their academic careers by registering for classes and taking placement exams for certain courses. They also had photos taken for their student identification cards, meet their resident faculty leaders, attend various informational sessions and toured the campus.
WVU offers both a standard one-day orientation session for students who have already visited the University and a 1.5-day extended program for those unfamiliar with the campus.