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Class of 2017 Most Diverse in UVM History

Incoming class also among the largest, with the largest number of Honors College students to date

An expected 12,795 students are scheduled to begin classes on Monday, Aug. 26, including a projected 2,470 first-time, first-year students, making the Class of 2017 among the largest in UVM history. This year, a record 13.6 percent of the incoming class are ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American, Native American and multi-racial) students -- up from 10.4 percent last year -- and more than 18 percent report being first-generation college students.

The Class of 2017 achieved an average SAT score of 1777 (including critical reading, math and writing), and sixty-eight percent of first-time, first-year students graduated in the top quarter of their high school class. More than 200 have accepted entrance into the Honors College, an all-time high for the college, up from 169 last year.

The incoming class hails from 41 states and 10 countries. A projected 600 first-year undergraduate students are Vermonters, 78 of whom are ALANA, another record number. Also on the rise: the number of students who identify as military veterans; UVM welcomes to campus twice the number this year compared to last. Joining the Class of 2017 are approximately 400 new transfer students, more than 63 percent of whom are Vermont residents.

The Class of 2017 arrives Friday, Aug. 23 for Opening Weekend, an annual program that helps acquaint new students with college life. On Sunday, Aug. 25, a convocation ceremony at 6 p.m. in Patrick Gymnasium will celebrate the opening of the new academic year. Following convocation, the UVM community will process to the University Green, where the class of 2017 will participate in a twilight induction ceremony.

New this year

Students will return to find changes on the first floor of the Davis Center, where the new Career and Experience Hub is located. Part of the university's Career Success Action Plan, the location will offer one-stop shopping for students interested in undergraduate research, internships, leadership and civic engagement, service learning, residential learning communities, fellowships, study abroad opportunities and part-time and summer employment. "Each of these are ways students learn outside the classroom and have value in helping them discover their interests and talents and explore different careers and workplaces," explains Pamela Gardner, director of Career Services. The Hub, which will provide drop-in advising, host information sessions and workshops, opens Sept. 9.

Also new to campus this year is Provost David Rosowsky, former dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Joining him in the administration is Dean Luis Garcia, of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, former head of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. Find Provost Rosowsky on Twitter at @UVMProvost.

Programmatic changes this year include a new clinical nurse leader master of science degree, beginning this fall. The School of Business Administration has launched its new Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA; now accepting applications, the first cohort will begin in fall 2014.

In January 2014, the university will welcome its inaugural class of international students recruited from its partnership with Study Group, a global leader in international student education and recruitment. Learn more about the partnership, and visit UVM's International Study Center website.

This year, the university begins conceptual design work on its largest construction project to date. An architect will be selected for the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative, a project which will construct a modern laboratory facility to accommodate the teaching and research needs of STEM programs. Also part of the plan: the renovation of two existing facilities (Cook Physical Science Building and Votey Hall) to fully meet the STEM program requirements. The conceptual design is scheduled for completion during the months of January and February 2014, with a goal to begin the first phase of renovation work in Votey during the summer months.

Two highlights of UVM's calendar of events this fall: on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. the university and the Vermont Humanities Council will host Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States from 2001-2003, in Ira Allen Chapel. On Thursday, Oct. 10, the Aiken Lecture Series brings Harvard professor and public intellectual Steven Pinker to Ira Allen Chapel at 5 p.m. to speak on "War and Peace – A History of Violence."