An Enthusiastic Class of 2012 arrives with high expectations

By Tressa Versteeg

The class of 2012 has arrived, with many different backgrounds, but many of the same goals. Of 5,042 applicants, a mere 481 matriculated, representing 53 different countries around the world, including seventeen students from Asia and Oceania, more than any other past class. There are also fourteen from Europe, six from Africa, six from the Middle East/Central Asia and five from the Caribbean. The class of 2012 also represents 42 states, so that now the entire student body represents all but Delaware and Alabama.

According to Laurie Hamre, Vice President for Student Affairs, the most popular reasons listed on applications for wanting to attend Macalester relate to its international focus, commitment to sustainability, and the laid back, progressive and interesting student body.

The class of 2012 started off its Macalester career with a bang at Orientation on Aug. 22.

Mary Neely ’11, led the Wallace orientation clan and noticed the First Years’ enthusiasm.

“They bonded really quickly and got really excited about all the activities,” she said. “They were really dedicated to whatever it was they were doing.”

Professors, as well, have noticed the class’s energy and high expectations.

“Students in my First-Year Course are excited about progressing towards career goals, merging collegiate sports participation with their school work and finding ways to get involved in activities that will take them beyond campus,” said chemistry Professor Ronald Brisbois. “I hope they find the right combinations of passions and interests that allow them to realize that hard work can be fun when the investment bears such significant returns individually.”

“The students I have met are wonderful,” said English professor James Dawes. “Among other things, they combine a sincere commitment to social justice with a hard-nosed professionalism-they strike me as the types who won’t simply aspire to do the good, but will get it done.