University of Vermont

New Year Brings Incoming Class with Highest SAT Score Average in UVM History

An expected 13,085 students (10,170 undergraduates) are scheduled to begin classes on Monday, Aug. 27, including an estimated 2,405 first-time, first-year students and an estimated 420 new transfer students. The class of 2016 is one of the most academically talented in UVM history, having earned a record highest average SAT score of 1783 in critical reading, math and writing.

The incoming class hails from ten countries and 41 states, including a projected 540 Vermonters. Seventy percent of first-time, first-year students graduated in the top quarter of their high school class, and 169 have accepted the Honors College invitation. Holding the past two years' record-breaking numbers steady, more than 10 percent are ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American, Native American and bi- or multi-racial) students.

The new class arrives Friday, Aug. 24 for Opening Weekend, an annual program that helps acquaint new students with college life. On Sunday, Aug. 26, 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 2016 will participate in a twilight induction ceremony.

Convocation will feature an address from another new face at UVM this year, the university's 26th President, Tom Sullivan. A veteran in higher education leadership, Sullivan served as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Minnesota for the past eight years before assuming the role of UVM president this summer. He also served Minnesota as dean of the law school from 1995 to 2002. As a professor in the law school, Sullivan was a recipient of the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a nationally recognized authority on antitrust law and complex litigation, having authored ten books and more than fifty articles. A presidential installation ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel. Learn more about the president and the installation ceremony.

Also new in the administration is Antonio Cepeda-Benito, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Cepeda-Benito comes to UVM from Texas A&M University as an accomplished administrator and respected researcher with more than 50 articles published in leading peer-reviewed journals in psychology and pharmacology. Learn more on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Four new courses of study are available this fall, including a minor in astronomy; a graduate certificate program in public health; an online post-baccalaureate academic certificate of study for speech-language; and a master of science in food systems. The food systems program, three years in the making, offers cross-college coursework that nutrition and food science professor Rachel Johnson says "puts UVM at the leading edge of the emerging field of food systems.” Learn more about the master's program.

With sponsorship from the Provost's Office, the university is running a first-year writing pilot program under the leadership of Professor Nancy Welch, interim director of first-year writing. The Provost's Office is also sponsoring a student peer mentoring program in first-year courses across campus. Piloted last year at the university, the peer mentoring program is designed to help students get engaged and connected during their transition to campus life. 

A notable change to the campus landscape is the completion of Redstone Lofts, which opened in August. The 403 bed, 144-unit building on Redstone Campus features loft-style apartments for students who are eligible to move off campus, but choose the convenience of staying on campus in independent apartments. Redstone Lofts is owned by Catamount Student Housing, LLC and operated by Redstone Commercial Group under a long-term ground lease with UVM.

Reunion and homecoming weekend is slated for Oct. 5-7. See the full schedule of events, which this year features a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, concerts, lectures, theatre, sightseeing tours and more.