I am so delighted to welcome 705 members of the Class of 2017 and 15 transfer students to Gettysburg College. We selected you from 5453 applications. Your group comes from 33 states and 12 countries and it is clear from your applications that you represent the very best of your high school graduating classes.
As a group you come from diverse backgrounds and bring interesting experiences with you to Gettysburg. You conducted an independent study that investigated environmentally-friendly transitional technologies for developing countries, co-founded an Islamic Society at your high school, made an educational film called “My Country is Tibet”, and did an impressive research project on the Armenian Genocide. You grew up on a sailboat and spent the last ten years sailing around the world. You have tutored English as a Second Language, studied sharks in Fiji and served as the principal harpist for the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra. You interned at the Brookings Institute, raised over $15,000 for breast cancer research and volunteered for the Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco where you educated families about their rights. You are multi-lingual, and passionate about community service. And the list goes on and on. You are a talented group of students and we expect you to contribute in positive ways to this academic community.
Now it is time for me to pass you on to the faculty and to Chris Zappe, Provost of Gettysburg College. Will the Class of 2017 and other new students please stand and remain standing until the conclusion of the statements that the provost and I are about to make.
With confidence and hope, the admissions office presents to the faculty the Class of 2017 and other new students. We have confidence in their abilities, and we have high hopes for their achievement under your guidance. We have carefully selected these students from over 5453 applicants. They are individuals who are deserving of access to our rich educational resources and who are promising in their potential to make best use of this opportunity. Their high school teachers have recommended them to us, praising their diligence, their eagerness, and their initiative. To these young women and men, dedicated teachers provided initial forms of intellectual direction. Now we commend these students to you, knowing that your teaching will intensify the challenges of learning to which they have been introduced, and that your guidance and support will enable them to meet these new challenges and will also make an enormous difference in their lives.