(Posted August 23, 2012)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The most noticeable change at Juniata College as it welcomes the Class of 2016 is a dazzlingly green artificial turf field that will provide Juniata's football and field hockey teams with conditions that will literally level the playing field with the college's competitors.

"Juniata's field hockey opponents all play their home games on artificial turf and our new field will improve our scheduling opportunities," says Caroline Gillich, coach of the field hockey team. Football coach Tim Launtz also points out that the turf field lessens injuries and enhances the athletic experience for Juniata athletes, "It gives us a top-of-the-line athletic facility that offers maximum flexibility for scheduling our games and organizing resources for all our athletic teams."

The new field, which will be named Goodman Field at Knox Stadium in honor of the late David Goodman, a Juniata trustee, will be dedicated Oct. 13 at the college's homecoming football game against Ursinus. "It will be one of the highlights of my presidency to dedicate the new field to Dave, who was so supportive of our college and athletic teams throughout his life," says Thomas R. Kepple, Juniata president.

Homecoming is just one of the calendar-worthy events scheduled for Juniata's academic year. Over the course of the year such speakers as John Fetterman, controversial activist mayor of Braddock, Pa., Robert Archibald a college administrator who wrote "Why Does College Cost So Much?" dancer Camille Brown, designer Jessi Arrington and food activist filmmakers Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis will weigh in on contemporary issues.

The college's slate of performing arts events is an eclectic mix of avant-garde theatre, epic dance and folk-based music. Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Sept. 15) takes Indonesian puppet tradition to new heights, while Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata (Oct. 13) re-imagines "The Sound of Music" as a contemporary musical with notes of soul and R & B.

Perhaps the most acclaimed act to play Juniata this year will be Stew and the Negro Problem (Feb. 15), which features muscians Stew and Heidi Rodewald, who collaborated on Broadway hit "Passing Strange." Folk musicians Dala (Nov. 15) and Eileen Ivers (Dec. 4) offer roots music, while string quartet ETHEL and flutist Robert Mirabal (April 5) offer classical perspective.

The college's own arts organizations also will offer cutting-edge cultural opportunities. The Juniata College Museum of Art will exhibit, the work of American artist Minna Citron, a show researched and curated by Jennifer Streb, associate professor of art, and an exhibition by Evan Summer.

Juniata Theatre offers a classic, "Macbeth," while also delivering some witty new pieces such as "Stop Me Because I Can't Stop Myself" and "Noir, Noir, Noir." In addition, Juniata's choir and instrumental ensembles will present a full slate of concerts in fall and spring semesters.

The first day of classes is Aug. 23, and the college welcomes 432 students in its incoming freshman class. Of that class, 46 are international students from such countries as China, India, Thailand, Algeria, Peru, Russia, Nigeria, Vietnam and Japan -- 17 countries in all.

Juniata has focused its international recruiting in China recently and President Kepple spent the summer visiting sites around Chengdu, where many of the college's Chinese students are from. Kepple also traveled to Thailand, where he signed a partnership agreement, and to Taiwan, where he and Wei-Chung Wang, assistant professor of business, helped establish a partnership with Taiwan university.

Juniata also has been able to maintain its enrollment goals and one of the highlights of that effort is The Gold Card Program. The program asks College alumni to recommend a student they know, send in their information on a Gold Card to the enrollment office, and volunteer to follow up and encourage the student through the application process.

This year, the college welcomed 92 students as a result of the program. Juniata admitted 196 students into the program, which means a 47 percent "yield" rate.

More than 2,500 students applied to Juniata to be included in a freshman class featuring and average grade point average of 3.68 and an average SAT score of 1182 (those scores reflect only the test's critical reading and math results).

According to Bartol, the number of Juniata students coming from states outside of Pennsylvania is increasing every year. This year is the third in succession in which out-of-state applications (61 percent) exceeded Pennsylvania applications (39 percent). Juniata also received 358 international applications, an increase of almost 25 percent over lasy year's international applications.

The incoming freshman class is also one of Juniata's most diverse. Of the incoming students from the United States almost 16 percent are students of color. If international students of color are added into the equation, almost 22 percent of the class is students of color.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.