In an era of intense competition among higher education institutions, Wittenberg's Office of Enrollment Management organized another outstanding class in 2007. The class of 2011 numbers 605, including 11 high school class valedictorians, six salutatorians and 117 students who ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.
The newest members of the Wittenberg community were welcomed much as they were recruited - with a personal touch. For the third straight year, a large contingent of Wittenberg faculty and staff members, in addition to nearly 100 orientation assistants - students hired to lead New Student Days activities to help first-year students become acclimated to campus - were on hand to greet the students and their parents upon their arrival.
The tradition was started by President Mark H. Erickson in 2005, less than two months after he became the university's 13th president. All involved agreed that the process was efficient and effective.
"I think my favorite part is just meeting all the families of all the new students," Erickson said. "I also think it's a lot of fun because we have all these faculty, staff and students interacting. They're having a great time together greeting new students."
The message is that Wittenberg isn't just a beautiful place to visit - as most of the new students did at least once during the college search process - but a great place to make an academic journey that will prepare young people for a bright future.
|Moving into a residence hall was just part of the day's activities.|
The members of the class of 2011 are well-equipped to handle the academic challenges Wittenberg offers. The class boasts an average high school grade point average of 3.402 with outstanding standardized test scores. A total of 28 states and another eight countries, spanning from Asia to Europe, are represented, with a significant percentage of the incoming class hailing from outside Ohio.
The class of 2011 also offers great diversity, including 12 international students and 49 minorities.
"Sometimes we work with these kids for two or three years during the recruitment process," said Director of Admission Brad Pochard. "Seeing all the new students come onto campus after working with their families to get them here for so long is a good feeling.
"After a long, hard year of work, we finally get to see it all come together. This is definitely my favorite part. It's just a great day for Wittenberg."
Classes are scheduled to start Monday, Aug. 20, but first the new students will spend several days getting to know one another and the campus that they will call home for the next four years. New Student Days, a series of activities organized by the Office of Student Development and the orientation assistants, opened with a march from newly renovated Commencement Hollow, the site of these students' future graduation, to the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center for a welcoming convocation led by Erickson.
New Student Days continues throughout the weekend with meetings with professors, social gatherings, activities and presentations on campus living. On Saturday, new students will also sign the Honor Roll, a formal document through which Wittenberg acknowledge they will abide by the university's honor code, a policy of academic integrity.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photos By: Robert Gantt
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