Allegheny College welcomed a historic class of 605 first-year and 23 transfer students at Sunday’s matriculation ceremony in Raymond P. Shafer Auditorium.
New students represent 403 high schools in 34 states and 13 foreign countries. For the first time in its nearly 200-year history, Allegheny will enroll a class that includes more students from outside Pennsylvania than from inside the state. Just as significant, this class is the most diverse in the college’s history, with 21 percent of incoming students identifying as students of color.
Students for the class were selected from a pool of nearly 5,000 applications: 72 percent of the class graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school classes, and 25 percent graduated in the top 5 percent.
“The rigorous, dynamic and supportive environment we have here at Allegheny is attracting students from distances synonymous with colleges of national reputations,” said Brian Dalton, vice president for enrollment and college relations. “The success of our graduates — both personal and professional — drives this increased interest.”
President James H. Mullen Jr. addressed the class.
“You are now part of an institution whose own history has traced the arc of American history,” he said. “You are part of an academic tradition set to the ideal of access for young men and women of all backgrounds and circumstances. And you are part of a tradition that has transformed lives and prepared leaders in all walks of life for almost 200 years.”
A traditional part of the matriculation ceremony is the students’ pledge to adhere to the Allegheny honor code, which was initiated and developed by students almost 50 years ago. It is still voted upon by the student body every three years to ensure that each class has an opportunity to pledge their commitment to the honor code.
The 32nd oldest college in the country, Allegheny will celebrate its bicentennial in 2015.