Fordham College at Rose Hill welcomed some of its most accomplished freshmen on Sept. 25 when it hosted a reception at Duane Library for 107 Presidential, Dean’s and National Merit finalists and semifinalists.
The number of students, who hail from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, is a substantial increase over previous years. Last year, the University enrolled 78 FCRH students who had received the prestigious honors.
“You are talented people and have great potential, and we have recognized your accomplishments by offering you admission and assisting your transition in all sorts of ways: financial, spiritual, moral and academic,” Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, told the students. “While we have brought you together because we like you and want you to thrive, we have also brought you here for a selfish reason, which is that we expect you to make this a wonderful place because of your presence and by the gifts you bring to the community.”
The students are part of one of the most academically gifted and competitive classes in Fordham’s history. Across all of the undergraduate colleges, the average entering SAT score for the Class of 2011 was 1230, an increase of 28 points from the previous year. And 40 percent of new students were ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.
In all, the Class of 2011 has 108 Dean’s Scholars and six Presidential Scholars, as well as 38 National Merit, 21 National Hispanic Recognition Program and four National Achievement finalists and semifinalists.
As part of the welcome reception, Regina Plunkett Dowling, Ph.D., associate director of the University’s Saint Edmund Campion Institute for the Advancement of Intellectual Excellence, highlighted the support Fordham students are afforded in pursuing a variety of nationally competitive scholarships ranging from Fulbright Fellowships to Rhodes Scholarships.
“Get to know really well at least one professor each semester,” Plunkett Dowling told the students.
Ronald Mendez-Clark, Ph.D., director of international and study abroad programs, also made a presentation about Fordham’s many opportunities for travel and overseas study.
And the students also heard from Joseph Koterski, S.J., professor of philosophy and an officer in Fordham’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, about the process by which students are asked to join the honor society in their junior and senior years.
O’Donnell told the students that much will be expected of them in the years to come given their stellar academic credentials, and promised that Fordham would continually challenge them intellectually and otherwise.
“May you use your time here to develop your God-given talents so that you may use your gifts to do the wonderful things that you have been called to do,” O’Donnell said, “and as the great Phi Beta Kappa Ralph Waldo Emerson said to Walt Whitman at the publication in 1855 of his volume, Leaves of Grass, I greet you at the beginning of a great career.”