By Marian Baker, Opinions Editor
The Furman Class of 2020 is finally on campus, and has spent the past three weeks getting to know each other, the campus, the faculty and the rest of the student body. But we do not know much about them, other than that they are a sea of completely new faces.
With the help of the Office of Admissions, we were able to learn some of the interesting things that distinguish the Class of 2020. Overall, says Jeny Kerschner, senior associate dean of admissions, “academic excellence has emerged as the hallmark quality” of this year’s class of freshmen.
“The academic caliber of this group of 750 new Furman students is characterized by a 24 point increase in average SAT score, higher average GPA and rigorous course selection,” she said via email.
In accordance with Kerschner’s statement, the current freshman class also includes 263 National Honors Society members. Clearly, the Class of 2020 is dedicated to academic excellence.
In addition to their academic accolades, the Class of 2020 is also devoted to a wide range of extracurricular activities. Of the 750 members of the class, 188 were sports team captains, 185 played more than one sport and 23 were student body presidents. 47 were also Eagle Scout or Girl Scout Gold Award winners, 36 were editors of a school publication and 89 were theatre stars.
One member of the current freshman class has written a children’s book, and another is a nationally ranked rock climber. Two freshmen hold pilot’s licenses, another two are SCUBA certified.
Now that they are all together on campus, the Class of 2020 is both nervous and excited to get to know each other as well as the other students. Overall, they are optimistic about life at Furman and have already had great experiences with their fellow classmates.
“It’s been really fun, the people are all really nice,” said Maggie Hill, Class of 2020.
“There’s always something to do here, like beach volleyball,” agreed Maley Wagner, also of the Class of 2020.
For both Hill and Wagner, Furman was their first choice.
“I really wanted a small liberal arts school, and this is where my parents both went, so it was fun to continue on the legacy,” said Wagner.
“Furman has great academic rigor, but the other college I was considering was also pretty rigorous. But it was also pretty big, and at that point I realized it had to be Furman,” agreed Hill.
Of course, while they are excited about Furman, many members of the freshman class are anxious to see how the year plays out.
“I am worried about how hard the classes are going to be, especially how different it is going to be from high school,” Wagner continued.
However, considering their academic strength as a class, the Admissions office is optimistic about all that the Class of 2020 will do at Furman.