Nearly fifteen hundred new members of the Tribe will walk through the Sir Christopher Wren Building this fall to become the College of William and Mary’s Class of 2016.
“It’s been a tremendously successful year and we are very excited about this class,” Dean of Admissions Henry Broaddus said. “By the strictest terms, it is the most diverse and academically the strongest we’ve seen in years.”
With 13,600 applicants, it was another record-shattering year. Of the 1,474 incoming students, 214 have transferred from other institutions, and 20 will enroll in the St. Andrews exchange program. Six percent of the class hails from foreign countries.
“Growth in the pool internationally is a big thing, in China in particular,” Broaddus said. “The other reality is that we do continue to see more students submitting more applications. In the admissions office, we’ve also been refining outreach and communication.”
The hoards of freshman and transfers moving in this August include a competitive figure skater, a caricature artist, a marine science researcher exploring the impact of jellyfish on dead zones and an original cast member of a Broadway musical.
“The range of talents and interests is enormous,” Broaddus said. “This is a group of people who have something to say about the world. They have been enormously successful inside and outside the classroom. This is reflective of not only the class but also the individuals. But, when people come to William and Mary they discover new things too. I believe there’s still a lot of untapped potential with this and any group.”
Broaddus attributes the high number of applicants to the fact that so many students now apply to upward of 10 colleges and universities.
“The whole college search process just gets louder and louder every year, so the challenge is just figuring out how William and Mary can assert its distinctiveness, whether that’s more traditional outreach such as mail, or more creative outreach such as our new Ampersand Box,” Broaddus said.
In addition to expanded marketing techniques, the admissions office also increased the number of summer interview slots for the coming year as part of an effort to give prospective students a taste of the College’s personal touch.
“William and Mary is the personal public university of Virginia,” Broaddus said. “Everything we can do to make a visit experience personal reinforces the more substantive side, which is the personal education. We just try to reinforce that theme as much as possible.”
Orientation Aides arrived to campus about a week before classes begin to prepare for the arrival of the Class of 2016.
“Orientation, with a couple time changes and program shifts, is the same lovable tradition at William and Mary, registration woes excluded,” Barrett Hall Orientation Aid Director Drew Chlan ’13 said. “The gang of OAs is unbelievably qualified and excited. It should and will be a great time.”
Unlike previous years, freshmen will register for classes during the orientation period as opposed to over the summer.
Due to issues in past years with summer class registration, Peer Advisors and professors felt there was a need to guide freshmen in their selection of all classes during orientation.
“I just can’t wait for that first freshman to walk through the doors of Jefferson Hall. That look of excitement stepping into your new home is priceless,” Orientation Aide Molly Adair ’14 said.