Class of 2013 ‘most diverse’

Josh Goodman

First-year Autumn Knutson was moments away from enrolling in another college when a phone call from a Whitman parent changed her mind.

“The moment I walked down my stairs towards the computer, the phone rang,” she said. “It was a Whitman parent who wanted to tell me how Whitman had impacted his two sons that attended this college. Somehow he convinced me enough to set up a day trip within that same week.”

That last-minute trip was all it took for Knutson to know Whitman was the right fit for her.

Each of the 422 students in the class of 2013 had a slightly different reason for choosing Whitman. According to Director of Admission Kevin Dyerly, the class of 2013 is historic: a higher number of applicants from more diverse backgrounds than ever before.

“We had a record 3,437 applications,” said Dyerly. “It’s the most ethnically diverse class…in the history of the college.   We also have more first generation college bound students, 13 percent, in the entering class than ever before.”

Each student had a different reason for choosing Whitman.

“I chose Whitman because it went above and beyond similar schools in one area particularly important to me: the outdoors,” said first-year Matthew Morriss. “Not only does Whitman stress a continued exploration of the outdoors through its classroom work, but also, Whitman provides students with an opportunity to explore the great outdoors.”

Isabella Lowery had no trouble listing off her reasons.

“Small classes with students who actually care, a nice campus and location, plenty of resources and opportunities, and a good community,” she said.

With the semester now underway, she and 421 other first-year students are adjusting to college life, from classes to coed bathrooms.

“I expect to feel overwhelmed, scared, and lost at times. I expect to have a lot of fun and meet some great people,” said Lowery.

“I expect to be challenged right off the bat academically,” Morriss said. “I hope to learn quite a bit about building a routine for school and handling a tough workload, all of which will help me gain the feeling that I am really in school now.”

The class of 2013 is already an accomplished group. Three hundred twenty-six were involved in community service in high school, 74 were captains or co-captains of a varsity athletic team, and 34 started a club or organization, from afghans for Afghans to Quidditch Club.   They also tout a median GPA of 3.84 and a score of 2000 on their SATs.

With such a background, the Class of 2013 is certain to become a group of leaders integral to the Whitman community. They’ve already become one thing:   Whitties.