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Welcome, entering class of fall 2009!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hampshire welcomes the entering class of fall 2009. It is exciting to see so much energy and talent and promise entering our community.

The college's admissions office shared just a bit of information about this class:

  • At 443 new students, it is the eighth largest class in Hampshire history.
  • It is Hampshire's most racially diverse class ever - 93, or 20 percent, are American students of color.
  • The entering class has citizens of 32 different countries, ranging (alphabetically) from Afghanistan to Viet Nam. Five are from India, 4 from Brazil, and 4 from China.
  • The class has residents of 40 different states.
  • 377 are entering as first-year students, from 350 different high schools.
  • 45 transferred to Hampshire - 7 from other schools in the Five College consortium, 14 from community colleges (from as near as Holyoke Community College and as far as Clovis Community College in New Mexico). The class includes transfer students from schools in Hawaii and Alaska - and a variety of other four-year schools from across the educational spectrum: specialized and comprehensive, public and private, large and small, national and regional, and progressive to conservative.
  • 5 new students are children of Hampshire graduates.
  • Many have siblings, aunts, and uncles who attended Hampshire.
  • 29 deferred admission from an earlier term in order to travel, work, or do community service.
  • 5 are "visiting students" on exchange from universities in France, Spain, and Uruguay.
  • 7 are visiting Fulbright scholars who will be in residence on campus as language teachers and mentors.

Before coming to Hampshire:

  • One in seven founded at least one new organization.
  • Nearly two-thirds made a significant commitment to community service.
  • Nearly half held a formal leadership role in a school or community organization.
  • Many had a serious commitment to music, writing, theater, or the visual arts.
  • Hampshire is hardly a "jock school," yet 40 percent participated in athletics.

Their energy, talent, and versatility are amazing. Here are a few of the jaw-dropping things that some accomplished before coming to Hampshire:

  • One bought two old diesel Mercedes sedans and combined them both into one working vehicle powered by used vegetable oil from restaurants. The student drove the car to school daily for the past two years. That same individual has been a competitive mountain and road bike racer as well as a member of the hometown energy committee and an environmental activist.
  • One swam the English Channel as part of an eight-person relay team, raising $80,000 to be sure that more children learn to swim.
  • Just go to the website of the United States Holocaust Museum to hear the work of another, who interviewed a Holocaust survivor about her experience in the Olympics in Berlin in 1936. She also contributed to the database of biographies of children from the Lodz Ghetto.
  • After studying guitar and piano for several years, one did an independent study to learn how to write music for and direct a 12-person orchestra. In addition, that student builds fixed-gear bicycles, paints, reads two books per month, and started a foreign film club and took 5 AP courses last year.
  • One is a sous chef, vocalist, actor, guitarist, competitive tennis player, newspaper editor, president of a community music and arts network, and a three-year participant in a university-sponsored science research program. This student not only got to attend the American Psychological Association conference, but also demonstrated against its involvement with U.S. military prisoner detention centers.
  • One traveled to China knowing no one, performing music at various embassies, recording jingles for commercials, and arranging concerts. While there, the student saved enough money to enroll in an intensive Chinese language program.

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