The University Record, September 16, 1998

Virtual tour, words of wisdom greet new graduate students

By Jane R. Elgass

Following a few words of wisdom-"'Michigan time' is 10 minutes after the hour. Always take the stairs in the Rackham Building. It's good for your health and heart."-new graduate studetns were welcomed to campus last week with a virtual tour of the individuals who will sometime over the next few years become dear to their heart.

Earl Lewis, dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, welcomed a standing-room-only audience in Rackham Amphitheater, advising the students that they are embarking on a course of self-discovery that will include challenges, pleasure and deep despair and that also will change the way they think.

"Your time here," Lewis said, will be "exciting, rewarding, scary." And while he and the rest of the 65 Graduate School staff members are here to "make it possible for your to succeed, we only want you to be graduate students for a few years, not attain tenure."

Detailing the makeup of the approximately 1,600 new students, Lewis noted that education takes place everywhere on the campus and in the community, and encouraged the Amphitheater audience to "embrace differences and diversity."

Bits of wisdom and advice were offered throughout the "virtual tour," which along the way highlighted all of the Graduate School's offices and the individuals who staff them, as well as some of the Rackham Building's elegant offerings. These include the "quietest study rooms on campus," a statistics lab, alcoves converted into classroom space that will host interdisciplinary seminars and an area being converted into a lounge "where people can talk to one another."

The Rackham Building, the result of a 1938 gift to the University, was "designed for you to claim it," Lewis explained. "Get to know it. You have an oasis on campus."

A look at our new graduate students

They number approximately 1,600 selected out of 12,000 who applied for admission. They join 8,000 already on campus.

They average 25 years of age, with the youngest 19 and the oldest 57.

There's an almost equal split among women (44 percent) and men (56 percent).

They come from every state in the country, except Idaho and North and South Dakota, and from 70 countries.

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