Class of 2014 settles into life on Danforth Campus

From invitations to join myriad student organizations to offers of free donuts on the way to class, freshman Jessica Minor says the WUSTL community — especially upperclassmen — has gone out of its way to help the freshman class adapt to life on the Danforth Campus.

“Students’ enthusiasm for Washington University is contagious,” says Minor, a first-year student from Mahwah, N.J.

“Students involved in various clubs and other organizations are eager to share their passions,” says Minor, who plans to major in international and area studies with a concentration in Latin American studies, both in Arts & Sciences. “I love being reminded of the ways in which I can make a difference here.”

Minor is one of the approximately 1,600 members of the Class of 2014 who arrived on campus this past August. The freshman class was selected from nearly 25,000 applicants, and approximately half are female and half male.

Nearly all the freshmen graduated in the top 5 percent or 10 percent of their high school class, and more than 60 percent traveled at least 500 miles from their hometowns to WUSTL.

“We are delighted to welcome the freshman class to campus, and we are honored that such talented students have selected Washington University,” says Julie Shimabukuro, director of admissions. “We were impressed with their talents and abilities, as they stood out among the finest students in their high schools around the world.

“We know our professors will enjoy having them in the classroom, and we look forward to their becoming active and engaged members of our community and making Washington University an even better place,” Shimabukuro says.

About 40 percent of freshmen are multicultural or international. They come from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Guam, and from 25 countries, joining an undergraduate student body with students from approximately 55 countries.

“Having grown up in suburban New Jersey, I love learning about different students’ experiences in their hometowns,” says Minor, whose roommate is from Hong Kong and has met students from Chicago to Texas to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I have already begun to open my mind to new ideas offered by the incredibly diverse peers surrounding me,” she says. “It’s been pretty amazing.”