Class of 2009 is packing hefty credentials

by 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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