The incoming Classes of 2012 arrived on campus this week in record numbers, with more international students selecting HWS than ever before and more domestic students listing “global issues” among their academic interests.
“In the incoming classes we see more students who are deeply interested in global education. As 21st century citizens, they know that the world they will live and work in is a global one and they want to understand it more deeply from courses and study abroad,” said President Mark D. Gearan, a former Director of the Peace Corps. The incoming classes of the 551 students hail from 29 states and eight countries ranging from India and Japan to Vietnam and Sweden. From China alone the Colleges will welcome 11 new students.
When registering new students, First Year Deans David Mapstone and Lisa Kaenzig were able to get an in-depth look at each student’s aptitudes and interests. “I was really struck by the degree to which our students were focused on global issues,” said Mapstone.
“These students want to pursue multiple languages, study international development, engage in different cultures and explore issues of environmental policy on a global scale.”
Kaenzig agrees that the number of students interested in international concerns is phenomenal, particularly Asian Studies and Languages and Middle Eastern studies and language. “Not only are we attracting more students, but we’re also attracting students with a deep interest in our international society,” said Kaenzig, who noted that more students have signed up for foreign languages, especially Chinese, than ever before.
The Classes of 2012 include 261 Hobart men and 290 William Smith women, who were selected from the largest applicant pool in the Colleges’ history. Seventeen percent of the Classes are made up of minority and international students, an increase from 13 percent last year. The academic standing of incoming students also continues to rise, with 25 percent of the students receiving merit awards and a mean GPA of 3.25.
“The Colleges are excited to welcome incoming classes that will continue to add to the academic and co-curricular excellence of Hobart and William Smith,” said Gearan.