The Union experience officially begins for the members of the Class of 2016 when they arrive on campus Sunday, Sept. 2.
The first-year students move into their residence halls beginning at 9 a.m. They will receive an official welcome from President Stephen C. Ainlay and other College leaders at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. At 3:45 p.m., the students will say goodbye to their families before heading off to their group orientation activities.
At 6:30 p.m., the students pose for their class picture at the Nott Memorial. Orientation activities continue on Monday, with a full slate of programs, including a talk by Andre Dubus, author of Townie (this year's summer reading for incoming students).
The 592 first-year students were selected from among a record 5,565 applicants, marking the most competitive year in the College’s admissions history. The students hail from 26 states and 13 countries. Nearly 19 percent of the incoming class consists of domestic multicultural students, while 7 percent is international.
While Union is a test-optional school, the students also carry the highest average SAT and ACT scores for any incoming class at Union: 1940 (on a scale of 2400) for the SAT and 30 for the ACT.
“We are very excited to welcome the Class of 2016. This was the most selective year in Union’s history, so the incoming students should be particularly proud," said Matt Malatesta, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment.
"The students arrive here at a good time. The advent of the Minerva House System, the leadership of President Ainlay, the addition of the Wold Center for Science and Engineering and the diversity of the student body, among other things, have all contributed to increased numbers of visitors and applicants to the college."
Earlier in the week, the Kenney Community Center will host 50 first-year students and 10 student leaders for a special pre-orientation program. Students will spend a couple of days volunteering at various sites around Schenectady and learning about activities in the city. The student leaders are Elite Williams ‘13, Shawn Tangnavarad ‘13, Mike Wollner ‘14, Jarryd O’Connell ‘14, Samantha Moyer ‘14, Dan Hurwitt ‘15, Fatima Hosain ‘15, Liz Devine ‘15, MaryKate Farber ‘15 and Kaila Amirault ‘15.
Residence halls open for returning students Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Fall term classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Opening convocation, in which the Union community celebrates the official start of the academic year, is set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 in Memorial Chapel, followed by an all-campus barbecue on Rugby Field.