Welcome, Class of 2021

August 24, 2017

Nearly 450 brand-new Grinnellians converged on campus recently for New Student Orientation.

Here’s a peek at the incoming class, based on preliminary data (as of Aug. 16, 2017):

  • 25% are domestic students of color
  • 22% are international students
  • 13% are first-generation college students
  • 59% graduated from public high school

While in high school, here were some of their most popular activities:

  • 69% participated in community service
  • 68% participated in arts (music, theatre, dance, visual art, debate, speech, forensics)
  • 51% were varsity athletes
  • 35% held jobs
  • 27% participated in student government
  • 16% were members of literary organizations/wrote for high school publications
  • 9% participated in religious activities
  • 8% participated in environmental activities

Incoming first-year students represent 44 states (including the District of Columbia) and 29 countries.

One of those countries includes Russia, where Anna Vasenina ’21 makes her home in Moscow. Though she loves Moscow, Anna is attracted to Grinnell’s small town feel.

“It’s what I was looking for,” she says. “People are closer in a small place.” Vasenina plans to major in mathematics and maybe something else. Mostly, she wants to learn. “I’ve always had this excitement about learning new things. I love the feeling of understanding new concepts.”

She is a two-time winner of the European Youth Chess Championships and has taken a bronze and a silver medal at the World Youth Chess Championships. Her First-Year Tutorial is The Novels of Hermann Hesse.

Noah Burgess ’21 from Forest Grove, Ore., is a fifth-generation Grinnellian, part of the 11% of first-year students who are also legacy students. His great-grandfather was the town doctor.

Burgess plans to major in physics because of its applicability to life. “I really like understanding why things in the world work the way they do,” he says.

He also loves music and theater and hopes to explore them while at Grinnell. “I want to improve my acting skills and learn a new instrument!” If he has time, Burgess might consider joining an improv comedy group despite having a sense of humor that “about one in seven people get.” His First-Year Tutorial is Prima Donna: Women in Opera.