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Updated 10:00 AM September 10, 2007




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Leaders challenge Class of 2011 to explore all possibilities

At the annual event to welcome new students to campus, President Mary Sue Coleman encouraged freshmen to explore all the University has to offer. More than 6,000 students, who hail from every state and 53 different countries, make up the incoming class.
LSA junior Julia Zhang, above, a communication studies and psychology major, sings with her student a capella group the Compulsive Lyres as part of the pre-ceremony entertainment at the New Student Convocation. Below, the a capella group the Gentlemen also performed at the event Aug. 30 at Crisler Arena. President Mary Sue Coleman, above right, welcomed students to campus for the 2007-08 academic year. (Photos by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)
Kaila Nenoto of St. Louis, Mo., a junior and an elementary education major break dances with Michael Cho of Syracuse, N.Y., a sophomore and pre-dental major, Sept. 6 on a checkered mat near the Element One club table set up in the Diag during Festifall. The annual event drew representatives from more than 400 of the 1,164 U-M student organizations. Of breakdancing, Nenoto says, "It's just fun. They started doing it in the '80s to keep kids from doing bad things." (Photo by Todd McKinney)

"Discovering and sharing knowledge is our mission. The academic enterprise at Michigan is challenging and exhilarating," Coleman told participants at the New Student Convocation Aug. 30 in Crisler Arena.

"As you discover the University of Michigan, you are going to grow, as a scholar and as a person. You are going to experience the joy of learning, the excitement of a vibrant campus, and the pride of being a Wolverine.

"Your opportunities are endless, as is your potential."

Provost Teresa Sullivan encouraged students to discover subjects and places in and out of the classroom, and to become involved in at least one of the campus' 1164 students organizations.

"College is a wonderful time in life. It is your opportunity to explore, to learn, to develop the habits of mind that will be essential to success in life," Sullivan told students. "As you begin your studies, let me share with you the words of Abigail Adams, one of the founding mothers of the United States. In 1780 she wrote, 'Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.'"

Ted Spencer, associate vice provost and executive director of undergraduate admissions, offered a profile of the Class of 2011, saying they have been more actively engaged in their communities and high schools, and are more academically qualified than any class in the University's history.

The average high school GPA for the entire entering class is 3.80 with nearly 1,400 members bringing a perfect 4.0.

On the SAT more than 1,500 members of the class scored between 650 and 800 on the verbal portion — up 11 percent; 2,347 students scored 650 or better on the math portion; and 13 members attained a total perfect score of 1600. Of those that took the ACT, 40 percent scored between 30 and 36 (out of 36) — continuing a six-year upward trend. On at least one section of the ACT there were 329 perfect scores.

Some other statistics about the class offered by Spencer:

• 28 percent were elected to one or more student government offices;

• Almost one quarter received all-city, all-league, all-county or all-state awards in athletics;

• 54 percent played a musical instrument, 45 percent presented recitals at places such as Carnegie Hall, and 27 percent received a rating of superior in state music competitions;

• 35 percent have volunteered in a community health setting and 62 percent have participated in civics projects — up 2 percent from last year and the highest percentage ever;

• 27 percent have participated in programs to assist children or adults with disabilities — continuing an upward trend, and more than any other class;

• 30 percent have received an award for community service;

• Roughly 20 percent have published poems, stories, essays and articles or have worked as high school newspaper or yearbook editors; and

• One in 10 has started his or her own businesses.

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