August 28, 2020 | By Jake Weber | Watch the Matriculation Ceremony
Finding strength in numbers and spirit, the students of Albion College's Class of 2024 were ready for the first day of classes earlier this week. Approximately 540 students, nearly 500 of them first-years, comprise one of Albion's largest cohorts of entering students in recent history.
The roughly four dozen transfer students represent the biggest such group ever; their prior institutions include Denison University, Kalamazoo College and Oberlin College; Grand Valley State University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University and the University of San Carlos in the Philippines. This year's entire student body of more than 1,500 students hails from 34 U.S. states and 17 countries. (The official enrollment count occurs after the 10th day of classes.)
Albion made extensive preparations this summer to provide an on-campus experience, an effort that was welcomed by many students and families. Vice President for Enrollment Management Hernan Bucheli noted additional factors in the successful admission result.
"The Albion College enrollment team did an exemplary job of gathering this class under very challenging circumstances," Bucheli said, adding that beyond the size of the class, his team achieved its additional goals of increases in both cultural diversity as well as percentage of Michigan residents.
"The Albion community came together like never before to help bring in this class," Bucheli said. "It was truly a united effort."
The Class of 2024 includes at least one third-generation Albion student and a Los Angeles resident whose cross-country trek required 38 hours of driving. The 12 new international degree-seekers make up nearly half of Albion's 25 international students, who this fall are either on campus or studying from Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Japan, Kosovo, Liberia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Language teaching assistants from France and Mexico are part of the mix, and in the spring, Albion will welcome additional first-year students from Afghanistan, Mongolia, Nigeria and the United Kingdom, along with exchange students from the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France.
"Albion's Global Brits have bravely navigated multiple languages, cultural identities and global travel to be here," said Cristen Casey, director of the Center for International Education. "They are a courageous group, with fascinating stories about how they chose Albion. We are so fortunate that Albion's Global Brits come to us."