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Skidmore College

Skidmore welcomes Class of 2019

September 14, 2015
Class of 2019 during opening weekend (Andy Camp photo)
Members of the Class of 2019 during opening weekend.
Camp photo)

Interesting, involved, impassioned, idealistic, and international all characterize Skidmore’s Class of 2019, which last week was formally welcomed to the campus community at New Student Convocation.

“We are very, very glad that you are here,” President Philip Glotzbach told the 694 first-years, 27 transfer students, and their families and friends. “You are about to embark on an amazing, transformative journey.…If you forget everything else I say to you today, please remember this: You are in charge of your college career, and that career begins today—not next week, or next semester, or next year, but today! Begin now to take full advantage of these next precious years of your life.”

Drawn from 8,500 applicants—the second largest total in school history—the incoming class hails from 33 U.S. states and 32 foreign countries. (Hear from a few of them right here.)

A record-high 13 percent are international students, an additional seven percent are dual-passport holders, and 24 percent speak a language other than English at home, including Balinese, Urdu, and Twi. Thirty-five new students, including three from China, are currently overseas, in Skidmore’s First-Year Experience in London program.

Twenty-three percent of the class self-identified as students of color when they applied. Fourteen percent are the first members of their families to go to college; 53 percent attended public or charter schools, and 47 percent private or parochial schools. Slightly more than 60 percent are women, slightly less than 40 percent are men. And 37 percent applied and were accepted through early decision.

Beyond the numbers is the wide range of experiences, backgrounds, and talents they bring to the community.

At Convocation, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Mary Lou Bates reported: “You have volunteered as museum docents and urban gardeners, and one of you collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes for needy families. You’ve worked on a drainage system in Costa Rica and with Tibetan refugees in India.”

Others, she continued, worked as a farm-stand manager, a pet portrait painter, and a professional model. One created a business buying and selling ponies. Others started a constitutional scholars club, a Hands Up for Haiti club, and a ukulele club. One student performed for the Queen of Norway and another studied with the Rockettes.

Internships? How about a center for genomics and genetics, the Harlem Arts Festival, or the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Hobbies? Try beekeeping and designing complex-strategy board games. Top achievers include one who maintained perfect attendance throughout high school, a hot-dog eating champion, and state title winners in soccer, skiing, and baseball. One student even sailed across the Atlantic with his grandfather.

Now, all the ’19 classmates start an exciting new chapter. ~ By Peter MacDonald

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