College Celebrates Arrival of Class of 2010

by Patricia Goldsmith

Excerpts from Vice President and Dean of Admission Patricia Goldsmith’s Address

Our first-year class numbers 223 strong and is joined by 19 outstanding transfer students. Curiously, half of those transfer students applied to Scripps a year ago and opted to go elsewhere.The smaller part of me really wants a chance to say, “I told you so,” but today being opening day, my more generous self extends you the very warmest of welcomes to the Scripps family.

This select group of 242 brings us tremendous academic strength and intellectual curiosity…The National Merit Corporation recognized 48 of our incoming first years and three of our transfer students for their outstanding performance on the National Merit Qualifying Test. For the past three years, Scripps has enrolled more National Merit Scholars than any women’s college in the country, and though we have not yet received this year’s data, with 17 National Merit Scholars in the class, I expect we will hold that distinction again.

Our new students sport GPAs and standardized test results that make them competitive candidates at the most selective institutions in the country; the mid-50 percentile of the SATs was similar to or better than last year’s entering classes at Smith, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, and Barnard. And once again, we watched students say no to exceptional institutions across the country so that they could experience the intimacy and intensity of a Scripps education.

They are, however, so much more than academicians…They speak 17 languages, including French, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, Czech, Hawaiian, Taiwanese, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Russian, and Ukrainian. We also have students proficient in Latin and American Sign Language.

Thirty-eight percent of the class attended high school in California, with the remaining coming from high schools in 31 states and four foreign countries… including: Chugiak, Alaska; Pulalani, Hawaii; Lincoln, Massachusetts; Birmingham, Alabama; Moose Lake, Minnesota; as well as Tokyo, Singapore, and India. A whopping 17 students come from Seattle.

This means, from this point forward, in most parts of the world, they will have a sister. In Seattle, many sisters. This class is adventurous, fearless, and views risk as nothing more than opportunity for growth. In their midst are an experienced fly fisherwoman; a young woman who is in the process of getting her pilot’s license; one who has backpacked across the Sierra Nevada; one who mountaineered the Andes, and one who keeps bees. One serves as a docent at the Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey. One works at a camp for Tibetan refugees; one young woman who probably deserves to be canonized leads children in an annual production of “The Nutcracker;” one was voted Oregon Youth Soccer Referee of the Year; and another, seriously, has performed and traveled with a national circus for many years.

Indeed, you’ve all been brought to this place to collaborate, to understand, to succeed; to learn, to teach, to make every member of this community a little better than we would be without you in our midst.