Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., August 20, 2014—The 274 women and 272 men who make up the Williams College Class of 2018 will arrive on campus on August 25 for First Days, their official orientation to the college.
The tradition of First Days introduces first-year students to the college and its resources. Students have the opportunity to meet their academic advisors, learn about academic departments, get to know the campus, and take placement exams and the mandatory swimming test. In between the scheduled events, students will settle in to their dorms and get to know their classmates.
During the second half of the week, first-year students will participate in EphVentures, a program designed to enhance students’ orientation experience, provide them with opportunities to build lasting friendships, and help them develop an appreciation for the campus and community. Students choose from various programs that would have them developing leadership skills, getting to know the Berkshires, experiencing arts and culture, or exploring the intersections among environmental sustainability, identity, and social justice.
On Sunday, Aug. 31, students will return from their EphVentures for dinner at the second annual Spring Street Food Fair. On Monday, they will participate in Williams Reads, for which each student received a copy of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, over the summer. Faculty-led conversations about the book provide an introduction to the intellectual life at Williams.
“I am so pleased to welcome the newest members of the Williams community,” says Sarah Bolton, dean of the college and professor of physics. “The members of the class of 2018 bring with them years of learning from their homes, their families, their schools, and their communities all over the world. By bringing their particular wisdom, each student contributes to making Williams even stronger. I look forward to the start of many years’ journey together as we gather for First Days.”
Six thousand three hundred and sixteen students applied for the Class of 2018, and by all standard measures of academic talent, including test scores and academic performance, this year’s entering class is extremely impressive. SATs for the cohort averaged 727 on the verbal test and 713 on math. The class is also diverse. Thirty-eight percent of students in the incoming class are U.S. students of color, and nearly 9 percent are international students. The 546 students in this year’s class come from 41 states and represent 38 foreign countries. Forty-seven percent of the class is receiving financial aid, with an average aid package of $47,285.
The full schedule of First Days is available at http://new-ephs.williams.edu/first-days/first-days-2014/.
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.