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Incoming Class at Juniata Largest Ever

(Posted August 12, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- On Saturday, Aug. 24, the incoming freshman class for Juniata College, the Class of 2006, will arrive on campus to move into their residence halls. When joined by the college's upperclassmen, who move in Sunday, Aug. 25, Juniata will have an enrollment of more than 1,300 students for the second year in a row.

As classes begin Monday, Aug 26, 372 new students will already have experienced the welcoming atmosphere at Juniata and most will already have started their classwork -- thanks to several orientation programs designed by the college.

The dominant sight on the Juniata campus for both freshmen and returning students will be the completed William J. von Liebig Center for Science. The new $20 million science building, located directly behind Founders Hall on the campus quadrangle, will be open for classes. Faculty from biology and chemistry will soon movie into offices in the new facility, which includes state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities that are the equal of much larger institutions.

"The von Liebig Center for Science has been specifically designed for Juniata's unique teaching mission -- hands-on experiential learning," explains Jeff Demarest, professor of biology. "The new building will allow us to move our science curriculum to the forefront of areas such as genomics, cellular and molecular biology and advanced biochemistry."

The von Liebig building will be officially dedicated by the college Oct. 5. The 88,000-square-foot building will house more than 10 laboratories, more than seven classrooms or seminar rooms, a large lecture hall and a large conference room.

New students all will be involved in "Opening Weekend 2002." The students will take part in a class meeting, an information session and schedule academic advising appointment. On the first day of classes, freshman also will meet individually with their faculty advisers and attend Opening Convocation.

Juniata also has gathered another academically gifted class. Approximately 36 percent of the incoming freshman graduated in the top tenth of their class, and that percentage rises to 66 percent when expanded to students who graduated in the top fifth of their class.

The average grade point average for the new freshman class is 3.74. Their average SAT score is 1159.

Michelle Bartol, dean of admissions, also points out that the 2006 Juniata class is its most diverse, with 5.5 percent of the class -- including international students -- coming from backgrounds that add to the college's diversity. In addition, the student body ratio of 57 percent female students to 43 percent male students ensures that most Juniata classes offer a diverse blend of viewpoints.

This year's incoming freshmen were selected from more than 1,417 applicants. About 78 percent of the incoming class is from Pennsylvania, while 22 percent of the class are citizens of other countries or are from locations out of state.

The longstanding Juniata tradition of welcoming students on campus is evident when the freshmen arrive on campus to move in. When new cars arrive at residence hall parking lots, sophomore, junior and senior students -- many of them student athletes who report to campus earlier than other students -- meet the cars and offer to move new students in and carry luggage and equipment.

"Parents and our freshmen don't have to spend two or three hours trudging up and down stairs moving in," says Dan Cook-Huffman, assistant dean of students.
After moving in, the students will attend a 1 p.m. picnic at the home of Juniata College President Tom Kepple and his wife, Pat. At 9 p.m., a welcoming social is planned at Tussey-Terrace patio, with live entertainment provided by a local musical group.

The students will meet with their academic advisers Monday from 8 to 11 a.m., followed by an abbreviated schedule of opening day classes. Opening Convocation will be held Monday at 3:30 p.m. in Oller Hall.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.