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* Welcoming the Next Class: Rensselaer Hosts Accepted Student Celebration Welcoming the Next Class: Rensselaer Hosts Accepted Student Celebration
Welcoming the Next Class: Rensselaer Hosts Accepted Student Celebration
It’s official: The May 1 deadline has come and gone as high school students across the nation decide where they will attend college in the fall. For students planning to attend Rensselaer, the campus was bustling with activity as more than 2,200 visitors came to the campus on April 12 for the annual Accepted Student Celebration. The visitors included more than 840 accepted students from 31 states.

The students and their families had an opportunity to learn more about Rensselaer through a series of activities, including campus and residence life tours, academic presentations, informational sessions on financial aid, and departmental and campus life open houses.

As of Jan. 17, Rensselaer Admissions had received 11,200 total applications. This record number is a more than 10 percent increase over the previous year and represents a growth of 100 percent since 2005, when the Institute received just over 5,500 applications.

Noting that Rensselaer is the oldest technological university in the nation, created 184 years ago, Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson expressed that there is much to discover at Rensselaer, and shared highlights of the Institute’s history.

“One root, written into the school’s founding documents, is ...‘the application of science to the common purposes of life...’ This kept the focus on engineering solutions to national, and even international, needs and challenges,” said President Jackson. “Rensselaer graduates constructed the canals, roads, bridges, sky scrapers, and basic infrastructure, among many things, which formed the basis for 20th century society. They did this not only in this country, but around the world, and especially in Latin America — including saving the Panama Canal when the French enterprise faltered. As a result, they changed the world.”

President Jackson also noted that the second root, also built into the school’s origin, was the employment of unique educational strategies. “In the earliest days, after initial instruction, students taught what they knew to each other — since teaching reinforces learning. Likewise, students performed scientific experiments — rather than watch faculty conduct them, as had been the common practice. At the time, these concepts were considered revolutionary — unique and distinguished from all others.”

In welcoming the students to Rensselaer, President Jackson encouraged the students to strive to become global leaders, and to complement their academic experiences by participating in research, cultural, social, and athletic endeavors.

“We have extended invitations to you to become part of the Rensselaer tradition — and its future — because we believe you are the best of the best,” said President Jackson. “As talented, smart, and interesting young people, you can find your heart’s desire — and your inspiration — right here at Rensselaer. Indeed, the future is created here — you create the future here. And so the real question you will want to answer, as you explore Rensselaer today, is — what will you build? What will you innovate? What will you discover? What entrepreneurial venture will you initiate? What future will you make here? And, how can we help you?”

More than 70 Rensselaer Union student organizations participated in the event, along with many Rensselaer students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and others including James Nondorf, vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions and financial aid. The event was organized primarily by the Admissions Office.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 8, May 2, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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