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Incoming Saint Mary’s class profile boasts strong grades, unique achievements

Caitlin Housley | Friday, August 19, 2011

A United States figure skater, a Taekwondo black belt, a Civil War re-enactor, and an award-winning novelist all share very different interests, but are now tied by a common bond.

These women are part of the 396 students that make up the Class of 2015 at Saint Mary’s this fall, said Vice President of Enrollment Management Mona Bowe.

“It’s a great class. Academically, it’s a little bit stronger than the last three classes, but very similar, and still exactly the kind of students that we want coming to Saint Mary’s,” Bowe said.

Director of Admissions Kristin McAndrew said her staff reviewed 1,453 applications this year.

“[The Class of 2015 is] exactly the size of the student body that we were looking for coming in this fall,” McAndrew said. “It’s just what we wanted.”

As the freshman class moved into their dorms Thursday, College faculty and staff welcomed the girls and helped them unload their belongings. Current students stood along the Avenue with signs that read, “Welcome home.”

“As much as we are running around and carrying stuff, I’m having a blast,” Bowe said.

Freshman Abigail Roggemann moved into LeMans Hall Thursday. Roggemann said Saint Mary’s felt like home since the moment she made her first trip to campus.

“Once I visited, I pretty much knew that I wanted to come here,” Roggemann said. “It was just waiting to get accepted.”

Freshman Erin Cisneros also felt an immediate connection with Saint Mary’s.

“It just took one visit, and I thought, ‘That’s where I want to go,'” Cisneros said.

According to the Office of Admissions, the application pool for the Class of 2015 was the largest in College history.

Bowe partly attributed the increase in enrollment to the College’s efforts to make tuition more affordable to new students.

“The College has made a commitment to trying to make the cost of attending Saint Mary’s affordable to all students,” Bowe said. “Our budget for financial aid has increased, so we continue to raise money in endowed scholarship so we can continue to help the neediest students.”

The incoming class is also the most academically talented group yet at Saint Mary’s, Bowe said.

The Office of Admissions reported 43.1 percent of freshmen ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Twelve of these students graduated as the valedictorian of their class.

More than 63 percent of incoming freshmen earned a composite ACT of 25 or higher, and 62 percent scored a composite SAT of 1650 or higher, the Office reported.

This class also continues the deep family tradition of educating strong women, Bowe said. Forty-seven incoming freshmen are daughters of College alumnae.

The incoming freshmen also show a willingness to give back to the community, Bowe said.

One student raised $8,000 in one year for a diabetes fund by riding her bike 100 miles through Montana. Another volunteered her time as a pallbearer for the homeless, and another provided over 100 hours of childcare for parents attending English as a Second Language class.

These women, Bowe said, represent the caliber of students at the College.

“There are amazing women in this class, and we know that they’re going to make this place richer just by bringing their experience to Saint Mary’s,” Bowe said.