Class of 2009 is packing hefty credentials

Author: Matthew V. Storin


Though the Class of 2005 has barely been launched from the University of Notre Dame, an outstanding group of first-year students will descend on the campus in a few weeks, bringing new spirit to old traditions and academic credentials to match any class that has gone before it.

The Class of 2009, which arrives Aug. 19-20, joins the Universitys new president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., who takes office July 1 and will be formally inaugurated Sept. 23.So it is a time of anticipation and new beginnings.The class will be welcomed by a new dean of First Year Studies, Hugh Page, formerly associate dean and director of undergraduate studies in theCollegeofArtsand Letters.And, oh yes, theres a new football coach, Charlie Weis, who leads the Fighting Irish onto the field Sept. 3, for the season opener at theUniversityofPittsburgh.

The incoming first-year class currently numbers 1,985 from 11,318 applicants, according to Dan Saracino, assistant provost for enrollment.In a similar ratio to other recent classes, it is 53 percent men and 47 percent women.Among other characteristics, it is 84 percent Catholic, 22 percent minority, and 3 percent from outside theU.S.Twenty-two percent are the sons and daughters of at least one parent who is a Notre Dame alumnus.

The average SAT score for this class is 1,375, the average ACT score is 31, and the average class rank was in the top 6 percent.

Saracino says,This class impresses me with an academic profile among the strongest in our history; yet, an amazing wealth of diversity in experiences and individual talents to be shared with the entire campus community come fall.

Other details of the Class of 2009 include:

  • 6 percent were Eagle Scouts or Girl Scout Gold Award winners
  • 7 percent were student government or student body presidents
  • 46 percent were involved in their high schools government
  • 13 percent were editors of a high school publication
  • 51 percent were active in music, art, drama or dance
  • 84 percent were involved in community service
  • 72 percent lettered in at least one varsity sport
  • 17 percent have at least one parent who is an educator.

As if to put its best foot forward for the new president, new coach and the brilliant class of first-year students, the campus is bustling with construction and renovations.A new coat of 23.9-karat gold is being applied to the famed Golden Dome; a new, ceremonial entrance to campus is under construction on Notre Dame Avenue, new football offices and player facilities in the Guglielmino Family Athletics Center The Gug will soon be occupied; and Dillon Hall, the largest residence hall on campus, is getting a complete renovation in time for the opening of the academic year.

Ongoing projects, not to be completed this year, include Jordan Hall, a $70 million science center, which will open in May 2006, and the closing ofJuniper Roadand straightening ofAngela Boulevard/Edison Road, the Angela/Edison project being completed this year while the Juniper closing is scheduled for 2006.

As with the undergraduate student body, which changes over one-quarter of itself each year, the campus rarely remains unchanged for long.

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