The College of William and Mary will welcome 1,522 new freshmen this weekend for orientation, selected from the 4,950 students accepted last spring. Of these, 24 of these new members are enrolled in the St. Andrews William and Mary Joint Degree Programme.
“We’re delighted with the entering class,” Vice President of Communications and University Relations Brian Whitson said in an email. “They bring a wonderful combination of strong academic credentials and diverse interests and experiences.”
The new freshmen are a diverse group with 28 percent being students of color, less than the 30 percent that made up the class of 2018. Additionally, 10 percent are first generation college students. Student Assembly President Yohance Whitaker ’16 said the College’s diversity vastly bettered his college experience.
“When you run into people who have different backgrounds, worldviews and perspectives, they will push and challenge your own world views and perspective,” Whitaker said. “I have found that William and Mary’s diversity is ever expanding, and I’m excited for them to engage with their classmates and the William and Mary family, so we can get new ideas flowing and great conversations.”
This class brings strong academic achievements as well; 81 percent of those with class rank graduated in the top 10 percent of their class, and out of those who took the SAT, the middle 50th percentile is 1260-1460. Some of their individual accomplishments include being a nationally ranked chess player, a member of Team USA for competitive sport stacking, a Scottish fiddle champion, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
“Across the board, this is an impressive entering class,” Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission Tim Wolfe said in an email. “Individually, they can each take pride in what they’ve accomplished and can contribute to William & Mary.”
The Orientation Aides are looking forward to the newest tribe member’s arrival Aug. 21, when they begin their busy week of orientation before classes begin Aug. 26. Audrey Scruggs ’16 has been an OA since her sophomore year and said she is always happy to meet new people.
“I am really excited to be able to meet the freshmen,” Scruggs said. “I’m also really excited for some of the big, time-honored traditions that happen during orientation like the president’s serenade and convocation.”
Wolfe said he is particularly excited for the academic opportunities the class of 2019 will encounter with the new COLL Curriculum and that he is even jealous that he didn’t have the same opportunity to take the new classes being offered.
“I encourage our newest students to jump in and make the most of the opportunities available,” Wolfe said. “The four years goes by quickly, and you’ll likely never have a better opportunity to grow academically and personally, than during this time. You will meet amazing friends who will be with you every step of the way, and long after you graduate.”