Middlebury College greets class of 2020; classes begin

MIDDLEBURY — The fall semester at Middlebury College opened on Monday, Sept. 12, with 607 new first-year students on campus and a total enrollment, including undergraduates studying abroad, of 2,747 students.
The first-year students, selected from a field of 8,820 applicants, are organized at Middlebury into five “Commons,” or living and learning communities that combine the academic, social and residential components of college life. The members of the Class of 2020 moved in on Labor Day and experienced a week of orientation leading up to the start of classes.
Members of the incoming class gathered in Mead Chapel on Sunday, Sept. 11, for Convocation, where President Laurie L. Patton was due to deliver the welcoming address.
Also welcoming the Class of 2020 at the traditional ceremony that marks the start of the academic year were Katy Smith Abbott, vice president for student affairs and dean of the college; Greg Buckles, dean of admissions; and senior Karina Toy, president of the Student Government Association. The faculty were attired in academic regalia.
The members of the first-year class represent 45 states, with the largest number of new students coming from Massachusetts followed by New York, California, Connecticut and New Jersey. There are also 40 foreign countries represented in the class with the most international students coming from China followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and Serbia.
Dean of Students Baishakhi Taylor said the arrival of new students “heralds the start of the academic year” and restores “much mirth and energy” to the Middlebury campus.
“I am looking forward to working with our new and returning students on forwarding the conversation that started last year on inclusion,” Taylor said, “in addition to continuing our journey toward an aspiring and resilient community full of intellectual curiosity and seeking answers to difficult questions together.”
The Class of 2020 will eventually be joined by 103 more first-year students who will arrive for orientation on Feb. 8, 2017; members of this group are dubbed “Febs.”

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