Aug 21, 2010

The College of William & Mary Welcomes the Class of 2014

This weekend, the College of William & Mary welcomes an entering freshman class of roughly 1400 students. Judging by the numbers, tentative plans to expand class size by another 50 students were put on the back burner for now. It is, however, a remarkably diverse and interesting group of students.

“This is a diverse class with a wide range of backgrounds,” said dean of admission Henry Broaddus. “They are an intelligent and engaged group that cares about the world around them, and we are confident they will make their mark at William & Mary.”

Included in this year’s class are a nationally competitive martial artist, junior Olympic fencer, the only high school intern at “Hotline,” a dancer in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a nationally recognized student journalist, contributor to the Library of Congress Veteran’s Project, and the co-author and researcher for a translation dictionary to help Bantu refugees.

The W&M Class of 2014 includes 26 percent students of color, 44 international students and 140 first-generation students. Sixty-five percent of all new students, including transfers, come from Virginia.

And they are smart. Selected from a record-setting pool of more than 12,500 applicants, the first year students bring a middle 50th percentile of 1280-1430 on the SAT math and critical reading sections. Of the students who attended high schools providing class rank, 79 percent finished in the top 10 percent. This year’s admit rate was 32 percent, down from 34 percent last year.

Freshmen will have about five days to adjust to their new surroundings before the academic semester for all undergrads begins August 25th. But in the meantime, here are a few events appearing on the new student orientation program:

• A series of briefings ranging from student rights and responsibilities to undergraduate research opportunities
• A night on the town in colonial Williamsburg
• Tours of the library, career center, and book store
• Volunteer service projects sponsored by Students Helping Out Williamsburg (SHOW)
• A campus activities and resource fair
• Theatrical productions by the William & Mary Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance
• Movies under the stars on a giant 30-foot screen with surround sound
• Performances by hypnotist Tom Deluca, various rock bands, a cappella groups, and a stand-up comedian
• Laser tag
• An ice cream social

In the old days, orientation programs largely consisted of a stern lecture on “parietals” from the dorm mother. This sounds like a lot more fun.

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