Students studying outside the library

Largest class includes interesting students

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Wofford’s ‘best prepared freshman class’ features high school honor students, writers, inventors, adventurers, performers, more

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The “best prepared freshman class” in Wofford College history also is the largest, and includes high school honor students, recognized writers, inventors, adventurers, music and dance performers, and more.

Students began classes today (Monday, Sept. 5).

The college’s Admission Office compiles a “freshman profile” each year of the college’s incoming class, including tidbits of interesting information about the class in general and about individuals who make up the class. “This is the largest freshman class in the 157-year history of Wofford,” Brand Stille, vice president for enrollment, points out. “We have 446 first-year students and 19 transfer students. They come from 27 states and five countries, with some coming from as far away as Rwanda and China, and some from as close as only a few blocks from campus. In fact, some of our new students are in the United States for the first time while one reports that he drove farther to get to high school than to get to Wofford.”

Stille gives these other facts about the Class of 2015:

• 13 were student body presidents in high school
• 50 held student government offices
• 1 in 12 was valedictorian or salutatorian in high school
• 20 earned the rank of Gold Award or Eagle Scout
• 31 were editors of their high school newspaper, yearbook or literary magazine
• 172 were captain of a sports team
• 60 signed national letters of intent to participate in college athletics
• 25 are the first in their families to attend college
• 60 were Boys’ State or Girls’ State delegates
• 2 are National Merit Scholars
• 378 were involved in either National Honor Society or Beta Club

Stille also provides some interesting tidbits about some of the students new to campus:

• One transfer student has served in the U.S. Army for the past six years and spent more than two years deployed in Iraq. He now is part of the Southern Guards ROTC Battalion.
• One student “fist bumped” President Obama.
• One invented a learning toy that his father patented and sold.
• One started her own T-shirt design and printing business.
• One has organized a worldwide fundraiser to benefit injured soldiers and their families.
• One student started her own philanthropic organization when she was 12.
• Another was chair of her school’s Relay for Life team and spearheaded the drive that raised $50,000 – more than any other student-led Relay for Life team in the nation.
• One helped design the winning entry for Habitat for Humanity’s Dallas Dream Home Competition; the design was constructed for a local Dallas family.
• The class has at least six black belts in various martial arts, and several new students are martial arts instructors.
• One class member is the nation’s 10th best road biker, and one is a junior Olympics gymnast.
• One student performed with the Royal Ballet of London, while one has written a 600-page novel and two are published poets; one won the North Carolina poet laureate’s student competition.
• One student is attempting to have a bill passed in the S.C. General Assembly that would require students to have CPR certification before graduation from high school; she already has successfully implemented the program in her own high school’s curriculum.
• One student conducted research at a university on an endangered species of boa constrictor.
• One student built a catapult that can hurl more than 2,100 pounds.
• One student performed with the traveling Broadway production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
• And, one student hiked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.