This morning Kari and I will greet first-year students and help them move into residence halls around the campus. The class of 2014 was culled from over 10,600 applications (a 29% increase over just two years ago), and it promises to be a talented, caring, creative and hard-working group. We’ve already been meeting some of the international students who are part of the frosh class. Most Internationals arrived Sunday, and at our dinner the following night we talked with folks from India, Turkey, Japan, China, France and Thailand (to name only a few of the countries from which our new students hail).
Fall athletes are also back, and from the look of some of the folks I’ve been running into on campus, many spent at least some of the summer getting in shape for an intense season. I’ve met with the families of the football team, along with the new coaching staff, and they seemed poised for an exciting fall. Over the summer I learned that volleyball and swimming garnered national team academic honors. I take great pride in the scholarly accomplishments of so many of our athletes.
Faculty are also back on campus, and they will soon be meeting with advisees to talk about schedules, choices of major and generally how to get the most out of one’s time at Wes. Professors have been working during the summer on research, much of which will inform their thinking as they begin the semester. The virtuous circle of intellectual work that connects teaching and scholarship will be in evidence throughout the term, as the classroom becomes a place of inspiration for student and teacher alike.
Today I will be greeting many parents who will be filled with mixed emotions as they drop off their students. I look forward to checking in with them again with shared pride as their sons and daughters make Wesleyan their own.