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Westmont College Welcomes ‘Globally Driven’ First-Year Students

College welcomes 339 students and their parents for orientation

The 339 first-year students representing Westmont College’s Class of 2016 arrived for orientation beginning Thursday.

The first day of classes for all Westmont students is Monday.

During orientation, students will move into their residence halls, tour the campus, enjoy dinner in the remodeled Dining Commons and attend a lecture by English professor Jamie Friedman. Parent orientation, Thursday and Friday, includes a barbecue, informational meetings and a welcome from President Gayle Beebe.

Beebe will welcome the entire community and talk about the founding values of the college at chapel at 2 p.m. Thursday in the gym.

More than 80 percent of the Class of 2016, which includes three National Merit Scholars, earned merit scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $14,000 in tuition assistance. There are also four Monroe Scholars who received full-tuition scholarships: Jarrett Catlin of Upland, Aria Hamann of Grants Pass, Ore.; Megan Litschewski of Centennial, Colo.; and Aaron Wilk of Centennial, Colo.

The first-year students earned a combined average GPA of 3.85 and an average SAT score of 1,200 (out of 1,600).

Jodi Smith, associate director of admissions, said the incoming first-year students are intent on building community and global connections.

“They have been involved in community outreach programs, working with people with developmental disabilities, helping with environmental efforts, tutoring and mentoring youth and peers, and caring for the elderly,” she said. “They are also driven to volunteer around the globe, including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, China, Philippians, Kenya, Costa Rica and Japan.”

North American ethnic minorities make up 28 percent of first-year students. There are also seven international students. Local communities are well represented, as 51 first-year and transfer students come from the Tri-Counties. There are 59 transfer students this year, coming from Concordia University, Gordon College, Hampshire College, Pepperdine University, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, the University of Minnesota and Wheaton College, to name a few.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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