Living through a second college closure


By Chris Perri
November 27, 2023

Ariana Mirenda on base while playing for Wesley College. Photo courtesy of Ariana Mirenda.
Ariana Mirenda on base while playing for Wesley College. Photo courtesy of Ariana Mirenda.

Imagine your college shuts down. You go through the process of searching for a new school, finally find one, and settle into your new academic home. Now imagine it happens again, and everything you went through comes true again. 

This is the experience of two Cabrini seniors, Ariana Mirenda and Kaitlyn Delaney. Mirenda is a biology pre-med major, and Delaney a psychology major with a minor in exercise science. Both play on Cabrini’s softball team and transferred from Wesley College, a small, private liberal arts college in Dover, Del. That school was purchased by Delaware State University in July 2021, and is now used as a separate campus. 

A shock announcement

The announcement of Wesley’s closure came in March 2021. Students were given extremely little time to prepare their next steps, as the school was not going to be open in the fall. “We had to figure out what we were doing by the end of the year because the school wasn’t going to exist,” Mirenda said. “With Cabrini, we found out during the summer so we had the option of staying for the final year or finding somewhere else.” 

In addition to the short notice, Wesley offered students no help in their transfer process. “We had two months to figure out what we wanted to do,” Delaney said. “Wesley didn’t do any partner schools. We didn’t have the option of going to schools that would take our credits. It was either you stayed and went to DSU, or you left and did the whole transfer process on your own. There were no advisory meetings. Everyone was on their own.” 

Delaney playing for Wesley College. Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Delaney.

The announcement came as a complete shock to the entire campus community. “Everyone was blindsided. Even the staff had no warning. They had to figure out what they were doing just as fast as the students did,” Mirenda said. 

When Cabrini announced its closure, that shock repeated itself for Mirenda and Delaney. “My first reaction was, ‘Again? How do you get yourself in this situation a second time?’” Delaney said. “The email came out from the D3sports story, which is the same way it came out at Wesley. Our coaches didn’t know, our professors didn’t know.” 

“Finding out in the summer was definitely harder because at least [at Wesley] we could talk to each other and figure out what everyone was doing,” Mirenda said. “But in the summer, no one had any idea what anyone was doing. We didn’t know if we were going to have a season and we didn’t know what was happening with the school.” 

The final ride

Mirenda and Delaney are also preparing for Cabrini’s final softball season. Going into the year, the focus is on appreciating the sport. “I think it’s a season to have fun, because our team’s on the older side,” Mirenda said. “For most of the team, it’s their last time ever playing. Everyone’s going in just wanting to have fun. They want to have a good last time sharing the field because they want to go out with a season they’re at least having fun and can just appreciate the sport they’ve been a part of for so long.” 

Mirenda at bat for Cabrini. Photo courtesy of Ariana Mirenda.

“We’re lucky enough that we have eight seniors. I feel like this is our year for closure,” Delaney said. “And even the ones that aren’t seniors, they’re not moving on to a school where they’re gonna play. This is pretty much the entire team’s last year. I think we’re going into it as underdogs. People aren’t expecting much from us, because we’re going in with 12 people, which is what we have left. So, it’s kind of a season to prove everybody wrong.” 

Although this season’s focus is on fun and appreciation, the drive to compete remains. “[During Wesley’s final season], everyone’s mindset was ‘Let’s just go out and have fun.’ We had a fire that season that lit us up,” Mirenda said. “This situation is similar. We all want to go out and have fun, but we also want to compete because it’s the last time we ever get the chance to.”

Mirenda and Delaney have their plans settled for the future after Cabrini. Mirenda will play a final year of softball at Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Del. Delaney will attend Lock Haven University to obtain her master’s degree in sports psychology.

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Chris Perri

My name is Chris Perri, and I'm a sophomore digital communications and social media major from Havertown, PA. This is my first year working on the Loquitur, and I look forward to learning how to report accurately and effectively, as well as working with and learning from the editors and photographers. My main interests within reporting are sports, current events, and local news. After college, I hope to pursue a career in journalism or somewhere in the social media industry. I'm hoping to possibly intern in the field of social media marketing, which is a specific interest of mine. Outside of school, I'm passionate about listening to and writing music. I've played the guitar since 2016, and spent time in a band from 2017-2020. I also hope to get into photography and videography, which I took an interest in after taking a basic photography class in high school, as well as video production here at Cabrini.

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