One of the most impressive groups of first-year students in the history of the Colleges, the Classes of 2020 arrived on campus today where they took the first major step of their HWS undergraduate journeys with Orientation 2016. Amid unpacking, sending snaps to friends and receiving the traditional greeting from President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan, the new students shared what they’re looking forward to at HWS.
For Skyler Ferrone ’20, of Bridgehampton, N.Y., and Addison Gilbard ’20, of Scottsdale, Ariz., it’s their First-Year Seminars that will be one of the highlights of their fall semester. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and the academics, along with being in my Learning Community, ‘Sustainable Living and Learning,'” Ferrone says. Gilbard is one of the many legacy students – the 20 percent – who comprise the Classes of 2020 this year.
A talented and high-achieving cohort, the Classes of 2020 represent honor society inductees and class presidents, team captains and exchange program participants, champions of social justice and dedicated volunteers. About a third of the 600 first-year students are receiving merit scholarships, and overall they have an average GPA of 3.47, an increase from last year.
Hugh Mitchell ’20, of Manchester, Mass., says he’s been anticipating his arrival at HWS for a long time and that it’s great to finally be on campus. An Early Decision applicant, making HWS his first choice, Mitchell says: “I’ve been waiting all summer for this. I’m happy to be finally getting on campus and settling in.”
“I’m excited for new experiences and to really challenge myself,” says Joshua Andrews ’20, of New Woodstock, N.Y., who is interested in both physics and Spanish. “I’m going to branch out to try different things than in high school.”
A culturally and geographically diverse group from 16 countries and 28 states, nearly 20 percent of the 600 members of the Classes of 2020 are multicultural and about 6 percent are international students representing nations across the globe: from China, India and Afghanistan to Ecuador, United Kingdom and South Africa.
“I want to meet new people and begin learning – that’s what I’m here for,” says Duinya Syed ’20, of Afghanistan and Los Angeles, Calif. A member of the Colleges’ Posse program, Syed said she’s interested in computer science and economics.
Of the Classes of 2020, 57 percent and 43 percent are from public and private high schools, respectively. There are also 32 transfer students, up from last year.
Transfer student Ben Greiner ’20, of Newport Beach, Calif., says he’s looking forward to being a part of the Hobart hockey team. “This is a new experience for me and I’m really excited about it.”
Amanda Baum ’20, of Rochester, N.Y., registered to vote during Orientation check in. “Academically, I’m looking forward to the small classes sizes too because I know I won’t be just a number. I also really like that the Colleges are a small school and that Geneva has a small town feel,” says Baum.