Class of 2023 encouraged to ‘build a better world’
As they arrived on campus, Connecticut College’s newest camels were greeted by cheering student leaders, colorful signs and a simple message: Welcome home.
“I am excited to welcome you all to this small-yet-big family,” Student Government Association President Maryum Qasim ’20 told the new students at a welcome assembly.
“Small enough that your academic passion and interests are customized—and big enough that you can aim as high as possible, travel between continents and still be connected to your roots at Conn,” she added.
Admitted from the largest applicant pool in the College’s history, the 514 members of the Class of 2023 and 15 transfer students are an impressive group, with 77 percent graduating in the top 20 percent of their high school classes. They come from 29 states and 40 countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Peru, Russia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Seventy eight members of the incoming class are the first in their families to go to college, while 32 are at least the second members of their families to attend Conn.
The newest class is also among the most diverse in the College’s history; 22 percent are domestic students of color and 13 percent are international students.
“In choosing Connecticut College, you have made one of the best decisions you could have made for your future,” President Katherine Bergeron told the new students.
“Why do I say this? Because I know you will find no staff anywhere more dedicated to your ongoing safety and wellbeing. You will find no student body anywhere more invested in helping you make friends and contribute to this special community. And you will find no faculty anywhere more committed to your intellectual, social, ethical and professional development.”
The incoming students are early beneficiaries of Connections, the College’s reinvention of the liberal arts. On Thursday, Nov. 7, they will take part in the inaugural All-College Symposium, during which nearly 200 seniors will showcase how they have integrated their coursework and experiences over four years to explore a topic or issue meaningful to them.
“Just like our seniors, by the time you graduate, you will present a profile of critical thinking, creative problem-solving and the ability to collaborate that employers and our communities are desperately seeking,” Dean of the College Jefferson Singer told the new students.
“May your years ahead be filled with multiple discoveries, but let them also be punctuated with a rhythm of reflection that allows you to look within, look around, look back and look forward with increasing wisdom and compassion.”
Over the several days following their arrival, the new students learned about Connections, met with their team of advisers, registered for classes, and got to know each other and the faculty and staff of the College. The five-day Orientation, “Welcome Home,” culminated with Convocation, a celebration of the opening of the academic year, on Aug. 26. Virginia Anderson, associate professor of theater, delivered the keynote address, “Of Giraffes and Mission Statements / www.govtrack.us.”
For more Orientation coverage, follow #Home2Conn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.