Publication Date

When Andrew Nordell started his college search, he wanted to find a school where he could pursue his passions in both engineering and art. An avid student of origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures, Nordell also enjoys building things.

“I have always loved taking things apart and fixing them,” said Nordell, who is from Greenfield, Mass. “At Putney (an independent high school in Vermont) I learned to weld and had complete freedom to pursue my interests. Although I went to an engineering camp I have not taken any engineering classes. That’s something that I have always wanted to do.”

A renowned origami artist suggested Nordell also study writing because “if engineers can't write, it is impossible for them to share their ideas with the world.”

As the first liberal arts college to offer engineering, Union was an ideal landing spot for Nordell. He applied early decision.

“Union will be a great fit since I can be an engineer but also feel free to pursue my other interests,” he said.

Nordell is among the students accepted as members of the Class of 2023. More than 6,000 applicants vied to join the incoming class of 570 students in one of the most competitive admissions processes in the school’s history.

The students come from 27 states and the District of Columbia. They also represent 15 countries, including Cambodia, China, Ghana, Morocco and Poland.

The class is one of the College’s most diverse and global, with 35 percent international or students of color. The academic standing is strong, with more than two-thirds of the class ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Fifteen percent of the incoming students are first-generation students, or the first in their immediate family to attend college.

“The college admissions landscape can be difficult to navigate,” said Matt Malatesta ‘91, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment. “There is so much information out there and many resources available to help students narrow down their choices. We are excited to welcome the Class of 2023 to Union, and look forward to watching them thrive and succeed over the next four years.”

The journey for the Class of 2023 officially begins Sunday, Sept. 8, when many students move into their residence halls at 9 a.m. There are also a series of orientation activities and programs scheduled.

Residence halls open for returning students Tuesday, Sept. 10. Fall term classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Founded in 1795 as the first planned campus in the country, Union is consistently ranked among the nation's top liberal arts colleges, including the college guide, “The Hidden Ivies.” The guide highlights exceptional schools that offer a broad liberal arts education. USA Today’s College Guide ranked Union among the top STEM schools for women.

The College is also nearing completion of its Integrated Science and Engineering Complex. The $100 million project is the most ambitious and largest in the school’s history. When completed, it will rank among the country’s finest undergraduate science and engineering facilities.