Earlham welcomes largest class in school history | Earlham College Skip to Content

Earlham welcomes largest class in school history

August 24, 2016

In the 169 years since it opened its doors in 1847, Earlham College has never welcomed a bigger group of new students: 364 first-year students and 11 transfers.  

During move-in day August 18, first-years admitted they were both nervous and excited.

“I don’t know anybody here and that’s both a little scary and a little exciting,” says Jonah Otto from Orville, Ohio, who plans to study physics. “I’m also excited to buckle down when I need to once classes begin.”

Jasmine Carter of Ellettsville, Ind., says she is sad to leave family but excited by her opportunities and classes. Carter, who plans to play basketball and study pre-medicine, arrived on campus with 28 college credits.

Otto, Carter and the rest of their classmates took part in Earlham’s New Student Orientation, five days organized to acclimate them to Earlham and get their footing as college students. Each evening also includes a social event to help the newcomers get to know each other as well.

“We design programs, events and sessions that help students transition to Earlham by addressing topics that are of concern for all first-year students,” says Emily Davidson, Area Director and NSO Coordinator.  

Earlham’s class of 2020 is academically strong with 68 percent in the top quarter of their high school class, averaging a 3.67 grade point average.

Nearly 50 percent of the class members were involved in varsity athletics in high school, and more than 60 percent were involved in performance arts. All were involved in community service.

Hailing from 37 states and 33 nations, the class contributes to Earlham again being one of the most multiculturally diverse, selective colleges in the nation, according to Vice President for Enrollment and Communications Jonathan Stroud.

“The Earlham College community is pleased to welcome an outstanding class of new students to campus,” Stroud says. “These students’ accomplishments and wide array of interests, talents and passions are already impressive. We look forward to being part of their continued growth during the next four years and to witnessing their contributions to Earlham and beyond.”  

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.

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