As summer winds down, Grinnell staff and faculty are welcoming new students to campus. By the numbers, the 380 members of the class of 2013 share a commitment to both academic achievement and community service with the rest of the Grinnell community.
The class of 2013 — 53 percent female and 47 percent male — comes from 42 states, the District of Columbia, and 28 other countries. 59 percent graduated from public high schools, and 19 percent are first-generation college students. Of the U.S. students, 26 percent are students of color, the largest percentage in Grinnell's history. 48 students are citizens of a country outside the United States, making up 13 percent of the incoming class. Members of the class of 2013 speak 18 different languages, including Czech, Persian, Urdu, and Chinese.
The most popular extracurricular activity by far was community service, with 239 volunteering their time to help in their communities. In second place was varsity athletics with 188 incoming students, 53 of whom served as captain of their varsity team. The third most popular extracurricular activity was a job during the school year.
Leadership is also something many members of the class of 2013 have in common, with 129 members of the National Honor Society. 87 first-years were involved in their student governments, and 17 served as class president.
Many incoming students were involved in music and the arts, with instrumental or vocal performance the most popular artistic activity among the class with 157 students. 117 participated in theatre or dance, and 46 in art. 71 students worked on high school publications, and 31 of those students were editors of their publication. 56 students were active in speech, debate, or forensics.
Many incoming Grinnellians have also collected academic honors for their work. A whopping 65 percent of the class of 2013 are in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and 93 percent were in the top 25 percent. 66 are National Merit finalists, semi-finalists, or commended scholars, and 58 are Advanced Placement scholars.
In addition to the 380 incoming first-years, there are 27 transfer students and one exchange student joining the Grinnell student body this fall.
New Student Orientation began Saturday, Aug. 22 and continues until classes start on Thursday, Aug. 27. For a full schedule of events for students and families, please see the New Student Orientation Web site.