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Highlights of the U-M Entering Class of Fall 2012

Ted Spencer, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions
August 30, 2012

Good afternoon/evening, I’m Ted Spencer, Director of Admissions. Remember the letter you received that said, “Congratulations, you’re in!” — well, I’m that guy. It’s a pleasure to be here and share the excitement as you begin your college career at U of M.

You’ll experience first-hand the tradition of excellence that is associated with the University of Michigan: excellence in academics, athletics, the arts, medicine, research, and personal achievement.

In keeping with what seems to be another tradition, we set yet another record for applications this year — over 42,000 — for some 6,000 freshmen spaces.

Over 25,000 of those applications were from out-of-state. For example,

  • 3,794 applications were from California; 3,501 from Illinois; 3,438 from New York; 2,049 from New Jersey; and the fifth largest number came from our neighbor to the south, Ohio, with 1,460.
  • Our largest number of international applications again came from China, India, Singapore, Korea and Canada.
  • And in the State of Michigan, the largest numbers of applications were from Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.
  • Equally as important are the applications we receive from places like Qatar, Louisiana, and Mackinac County, Michigan.

Again, it was a very competitive process, but your exceptional achievements in both academic and extracurricular endeavors convinced us that you will be successful at Michigan and contribute to the vitality of our campus community.

And once again this year, I can say that the class of 2016 is the overall strongest class to ever be admitted to the University of Michigan!

Consequently, I can assure the faculty and the administration that the Class of 2016 meets or exceeds all the measures we use for admission, and that your overall academic talents and leadership are well above national standards.

But who are you, the members of the Class of 2016?

Well, after evaluating your transcripts, test scores, recommendations, and reading your essays and lists of extracurricular activities, we know this:

  • that many of you enjoy attending sporting events, so we scheduled one just for you on Saturday!
  • You have also volunteered or participated in community service efforts;
  • worked at a family business, or an after-school job;
  • participated in music, choral or dance programs.
  • Others have been involved with such things as:
    • various club activities,
    • tutoring or mentoring,
    • fundraising and environmental efforts,
    • student government,
    • religious activities,
    • and publishing books, poems, and articles in community newspapers, journals and magazines,
  • some of you participated in a foreign exchange program,
  • and others have even started your own business!

In terms of academics, the average HS GPA for this year’s class is 3.83, and 20% of the class achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA!

34% of this class had an ACT composite score between 31 and 36, while only 4% of students nationwide achieved that high level.

Furthermore, your teachers and counselors gave you high marks as some of the most outstanding students they have taught and counseled.

Your essays described how you overcame personal obstacles or setbacks, your family situations, or your friendships and unique experiences. One student described her personal battle with cancer and the how her local Relay for Life team provided strength and inspiration to persevere, noting that “Amazing things happen when people come together for a common purpose.”

Another student envisioned his college experience as “one scoop academic excellence, one scoop community service opportunities, one scoop Michigan Football, and one scoop amazing social life” — blend them together to make the Michigan Difference!

A number of you wrote about belonging to a community of blended backgrounds and heritage — like, African American, Cuban American, Korean American, Italian American, and many others — helping to make this year's class very diverse with strong representation from every racial, ethnic, social, and religious background and upholding a Michigan tradition since its founding in 1817 as one of the first universities to admit students from all over the country and the world, and from many different ethnic, racial, religious and economic backgrounds.

You will join incoming freshmen from over 1,900 different high schools, and a student body representing all 50 states and over 120 countries.

And after graduation, you will be part of one of the largest alumni networks in the world!

Finally, I would like to again offer my congratulations to both you and your parents on your outstanding achievements; Maize, Blue and YOU means you are now part of the Michigan communitythe Leaders and the Best — where incredible opportunities await you!

And now, to the administration, faculty and staff of the University of Michigan,

I present to you some of the best and brightest students in this country, as well as the world — I present to you the Class of 2016!

GO BLUE!

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Questions? Comments? Please send e-mail to diversitymatters@umich.edu.
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