About 360 new students begin arriving on campus and moving into their residence halls on Thursday, Aug. 22, for Orientation 2013. The first day of classes for all Westmont students is Monday, Aug. 26.
The new students represent nine countries and 26 U.S. states. North American ethnic minorities make up 28 percent of first-year students, and 17 students identify themselves as multi-racial with two or more races. There are 13 international students, representing Australia, China, Dubai, France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Uganda, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Vietnam.
“Westmont continues to attract a very diverse and high-achieving student with wonderful gifts and talents,” says Silvio Vazquez, Westmont dean of admissions. “Though they come from around the globe, these men and women share a wonderful commonality,” Vazquez says. “They want to study in an environment that will challenge them holistically — intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally.”
About a quarter of all new students (19 percent first-year and 53 percent transfer) are from Santa Barbara County. The 57 transfer students come to Westmont from Columbia University, University of Colorado at Boulder, CSU Fullerton, Savannah College of Art & Design, Azusa Pacific University, Point Loma Nazarene University, Loyola Marymount University, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge and Gordon College. They have also transferred from Santa Barbara City College and from more than 15 other community colleges.
The 300 first-year students representing the class of 2017 include three National Merit Scholars. Two-thirds of first-year students have earned academic merit scholarships, ranging from $10,000 to full tuition. The Class of 2017 has an SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile range of 1080-1310.
This year, there are two Monroe Scholars who received full-tuition scholarships: Nathanael Aasland of Altadena, Calif., and Abby Gritter of Holland, Mich., who have an average GPA of 4.103 and an average SAT of 1580 (math and critical reading).
During Orientation on Thursday, new students will be moving into residence halls from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. President Gayle D. Beebe will discuss the founding values of the college at Welcome Chapel from 2-3 p.m. in Murchison Gym.
The Service of Commitment, a formal ceremony with robed faculty that welcomes students to the Westmont community, is on Friday, Aug. 23, at 3 p.m. beginning in Murchison Gym.