(Posted August 8, 2001)

On Saturday, Aug. 25, the incoming freshman class for Juniata College, the Class of 2005, will arrive on campus to catch an early start on moving into their residence halls. When joined by the college's upperclassmen, who move in Sunday, Aug. 26, Juniata will have an enrollment of 1,300 students for the second year in a row.

As classes begin Monday, Aug 27, 368 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.

"Part of the first-year credits earned by students center on taking a technology course that familiarizes them with using personal computers, the Internet and e-mail within our campus system," explains Dan Cook-Huffman, assistant dean of students. "Our orientation process, which began in June, allows our freshman to get a start on this technology course over the summer, or in many cases finish the requirement before they come to campus."

New students all will be involved in "Opening Weekend 2001." 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. Forty percent of the incoming freshman graduated in the top tenth of their class, and that percentage rises to 67 percent when expanded to students who graduated in the top fifth of their class. In addition, the Class of 2005 includes seven valedictorians and 13 salutatorians. According to Michelle Bartol, dean of enrollment, there are 95 students in the new class who held leadership positions at their high schools.

"A leadership position can include being the captain of a sports team, newspaper or yearbook editor, first chair in orchestra or participation in student government," she says.

The average grade point average for the new freshman class was 3.72. Their average SAT score was 1160.

Bartol also points out that the 2005 Juniata class is among the most diverse, with 5.2 percent of the class -- including international students -- coming from backgrounds that add to the college's diversity. In addition, the student body ratio of 60 percent female students to 40 percent male students ensures that most Juniata classes offer a diverse blend of viewpoints. "Particularly in our science classes such as pre-med, chemistry and other disciplines, there definitely will be more than a handful of women in the class," she says.

This year's incoming freshmen were selected from more than 1,400 applicants -- the largest number of applications ever received by Juniata. Among those starting this year are students from 25 different states as well as Puerto Rico, including such far-flung locales as Texas, California, Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Maine and North Carolina.

"We have international students from 10 countries, says Terri Bollman, senior associate director of admissions. "We are ranked first among liberal arts colleges in the percentage of international students enrolled, along with Swarthmore College."

All of the Class of 2005 will enroll their first semester in Juniata's College Writing Seminar, a four-credit writing course that includes a unique "extended orientation" element. In addition to writing assignments, the students will take part in weekly discussion groups to ensure a smooth transition into college. The sessions are led by upper-level students, and topics can range from academic problems to studying to student activities.

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 the freshmen don't have to spend two or three hours trudging up and down stairs moving in," Cook-Huffman says.

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