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Dartmouth welcomes one of its strongest and most diverse entering classes at Convocation, Sept. 23

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 09/19/08 • Media Contact: Latarsha Gatlin • (603) 646-3661 

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Speakers: Grassroots Soccer CEO Tommy Clark; Dartmouth President James Wright; Student Assembly President Molly Bode

Convocation exercises opening Dartmouth College's 239th year are scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 in Leede Arena at the John W. Berry Sports Center. Besides serving as the official opening of the academic year, the event is a welcome for first-year undergraduates and a welcome-back for the rest of the College community.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Tommy Clark, M.D., a 1992 graduate of Dartmouth and 2001 graduate of Dartmouth Medical School. Clark is the founder and CEO of Grassroot Soccer, an international HIV/AIDS education and prevention organization that trains coaches, professional soccer players and educators to deliver an innovative, sports-based curriculum that empowers young people to live life HIV-free

Clark and Grassroot Soccer, based in Norwich, Vt., have been honored with numerous awards, most recently the Nike/Ashoka Sports for a Better World Collaborative Competition for being one of the three most innovative, effective and sustainable organizations in the Sports for Development field.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be invited as the keynote speaker," Clark said. "The theme of my speech will be on making the most of your opportunities and I hope the incoming class will not only remember that message but act on it as well."

This year's Convocation will be President James Wright's last as Dartmouth's leader. Wright announced earlier this year his intention to step down as President in June 2009. The College's 16th president, he has been at Dartmouth for 40 years and will have been president for 11 years when he steps down. Wright will speak at Convocation, on the subject of leadership.  Student Assembly President Molly Bode '09 will speak as well.

The Class of 2012: Profile

There will be approximately 1,096 new members of the Class of 2012 among the nearly 4,000 students attending classes on campus this fall. Dartmouth received 16,538 applications for the entering class from students across the country, the largest application pool in the College's history.

The incoming class is made up of 50.5 percent male and 49.5 percent female. More than half - 58.9 percent attended - public school; 35.9 percent attended private school and the remaining 5.2 percent attended parochial school.

Slightly more than a quarter of the students, 27.1 percent, hail from the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. while 19.4 percent come from the West Coast; 19.1 percent from New England; 15 percent from the South; 11.4 percent from the Midwest and 8 percent - or 88 students - have a non-U.S. address.

Asian-American students make up the largest ethnic group of the incoming class at 14.3 percent. African-American students are at 9.2 percent; 7.9 percent are Latino; 3.9 percent are Native American and 0.8 percent are classified as multiracial.

Dartmouth has 150 students, or 13.7 percent of the incoming class, are the first in their families to attend college.

Academically the class is one of the strongest first-year classes to enter the institution with enrollees sporting a median SAT Verbal score of 730, a median SAT Math score of 740 and a median SAT Writing score of 730. Of those ranked, 90 percent of the incoming class graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class; 29 percent were valedictorians and 10.2 were salutatorians.

This class is also the first to attend under Dartmouth's restructured financial aid program. Beginning with this academic year, all students from families with incomes of $75,000 or less will receive free tuition. Many will also receive scholarships for associated costs of attendance, such as room, board, books, and miscellaneous expenses. Other changes to financial aid include replacing loans with scholarships and a fully need-blind admissions process for international students.

This year, 47.5 percent of the class is receiving scholarship assistance, totaling over $17 million. The average scholarship award for members of the Class of 2012 is $33,240.

Annual Waste-Free Cookout for the Dartmouth Community Follows Convocation

After the Convocation exercises, the annual waste-free Community Cookout for the on-campus community will take place on Tuck Mall from noon - 2 p.m. In case of rain, Thayer Dining Hall will be the alternate site.

The event, hosted by President Wright and his wife Susan DeBevoise Wright, is both a social event for the Dartmouth community and a reflection of the College's commitment to environmental awareness and sustainable living. Instead of dining on disposable dishes, picnickers will use reusable plates and cups. Leftover food, and even napkins, will be collected and composted, and food will be served from bulk containers to avoid wasteful packaging used for individual servings.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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