Wellesley Welcomes 'Red' Class of 2012
Mass. — They include an accomplished fly fisher, a nationally ranked tennis player and a winner of the city of Chicago spelling bee. Members of Wellesley College’s class of 2012 have done research on sharks, fungi and cancer, trained to sail the U.S. Brig Niagara and won the “best director” award at a film festival.
“It's so exciting to welcome this remarkable group of young women to Wellesley,” said Jennifer Desjarlais, dean of admission. “From places as varied as Burma, Bahrain, Brooklyn and closer to home here in Boston, the class of 2012 represents a wide range of experiences and brings a multitude of talents, both academic and extracurricular, as well as a diversity of perspectives to Wellesley.”
The 600 members of the first-year class were chosen from 4,102 applicants. This year’s admission rate was 35%.
The incoming class hails from 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 33 countries. International students, representing 8% of the class, come from countries including Colombia, Nepal, Ghana and Sweden. African-American, Latina/Hispanic, Asian-American and Native-American (ALANA) students make up 47% of the incoming class.
Eleven percent of first-year students are the first generation in their families to attend college. Public schools graduated 63%, while 34% of students come from private schools and 2% from parochial schools. Of first-year students, 11% have alumnae relatives.
First-year students arrived on campus Monday, Aug. 25, for a weeklong orientation program. This year’s orientation theme, “Opening Doors,” was inspired by an original set of keys to the college that have been presented to each new college president as symbols of Wellesley’s educational mission. Activities during the week include a campus scavenger hunt; information sessions about electronic communications on campus and choosing courses; and fitness activities, including nature walks, kickball and tai chi.
“When I look out at you this afternoon, I don’t see a collection of impressive résumés, test scores or GPAs,” Desjarlais said, in her welcome address to the class during their first day on campus. “I see, to borrow a phrase from an illustrious Wellesley alumna, 600 more cracks in the glass ceiling. You were selected from a very competitive, talented applicant pool because we recognized, in addition to your many accomplishments, your promise.”
1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent
liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the
world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate
students from all 50 states and 68 countries.