Related content: Law School welcomes class of 2011.
William and Mary is welcoming one of its best, brightest and most accomplished groups of new students this week.
While some of the country’s top professional and graduate students have already started arriving to campus, new members of the freshman Class of 2012 will be on campus for move-in day this Friday. Like their graduate-school counterparts, the new undergraduates come with sterling academic credentials -- the freshman class comes to Williamsburg with a middle 50th percentile on the SAT of 1260-1430. Seventy-nine percent of new students who provided high-school rank finished in the top 10 percent of their class
"The extraordinary new members of our community could have chosen to study at many other engaging places. They chose William & Mary. This is good," said Interim President W. Taylor Reveley III. "Of the countless factors that go into making a school great, the most crucial is the caliber of its people."
The College’s Office of Undergraduate Admission received a record 11,600 applications, which helped attract the most diverse freshman class in William and Mary’s history. Nearly 25 percent (24.9 percent) of the new undergraduates are students of color, which is up from last year’s 22.5 percent. Also, 160 members of the Class of 2012 are first-generation students.
"We look forward to seeing these new students on campus and we know they will thrive here,” said Dean of Admission Henry Broaddus.
William and Mary’s graduate and professional schools saw similar success in recruiting this year’s class. For example, the William & Mary Law School received a record number of applications – nearly 4,600 applicants for an entering class of 220. The Law School’s newest class includes students who graduated from 122 colleges and universities across the country and recorded a median LSAT score in the 90th percentile.
At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s (VIMS) School of Marine Science, applications rose by 23 percent. Applications came from 28 states and six countries. The newest VIMS graduate students arrive with research experience at sea off the coasts of Alaska, Australia, Germany and South Africa.
More than 70 percent of the entering graduate students in Arts & Sciences conducted research projects as undergraduates, with half of these students receiving awards or honors for their work. More than half served as teachers or mentors in some capacity. More than 15 percent have already earned a graduate or professional degree, and 18 percent are international students.
The School of Education will welcome 150 new graduate students this fall. They include a former staffer at USA Today, a veteran of two national political campaigns, a state archaeologist, an elementary literacy teacher and a swim coach. At the Mason School of Business, applications in the M.B.A. program increased by 15 percent. The 110 new M.B.A. candidates come from a dozen countries, including a banking executive from Kosovo, an international affairs consultant from Japan, and an automobile marketing specialist from India.
Among the new freshman class of approximately 1,380 undergraduates, 65 percent come from the Commonwealth of Virginia. International students number 44. In addition to their strong academic credentials, the students – like their graduate counterparts -- come from varying backgrounds and experiences. The freshman class includes one who sang back-up for a Grammy Award winner, another who danced with the Rockettes, and others who started nonprofit organizations, raised guiding eye dogs, worked on a tiger reserve, and interviewed veterans for the National World War II Museum. One new student even biked across a continent.
“This is a diverse group of students in every sense,” said Earl T. Granger, associate provost for enrollment. “They come with unparalleled credentials, experiences and backgrounds. They represent the very best.”