Numbers, diversity increase with class of 2015

The Class of 2015 has finally arrived.

After the Office of Undergraduate Admissions received more than 22,000 applications and admitted nearly 13,000 students, 2,084 freshman debuted at Marquette last Wednesday.

The number is up about 8 percent from the 1,928 who enrolled in the Class of 2014.

While the number of applicants has been steadily rising for years, the administration is unsure what has caused the surge.

“It’s really difficult to say at any given year what caused the increase in size,” said Jean M. Burke, associate dean of the Office of Admissions. “This is our 11th or 12th consecutive year with record applications. This is not unusual; our applications increase steadily every year.”

Overall enrollment isn’t the only number that’s up this year. Students of color make up 23 percent of the class, and freshmen are taking notice.

“It’s a pretty diverse group. It’s kind of like being in high school again with all types of people from different backgrounds,” said Chris Smith, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Burke said there are a multitude of factors that resulted in more applications, but no single department or person could take credit for the increase.

“It’s a collective effort that helps us be as successful as we are,” Burke said. She cited parents, admissions volunteers and alumni who work together to recruit. She also credits overall name recognition as a factor.

For some, geography and the promise of independence were enough.

“I like being away from home but still being close,” said Elizabeth Roque, a freshman in the College of Business Administration.

Others came to pursue a particular program that interested them.

“I’m here for the athletic training program. It’s a nice program and nationally known,” said Jyron Apayrri, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences.

Visiting campus sealed the deal for some incoming freshmen.

“I chose Marquette because it was the only school I visited that I could see myself going to,” said Taylor Walker, a freshman in the College of Engineering.

The Class of 2015 has already left an impression on their classmates and soon-to-be professors.

“They are interesting. They look energetic, fresh and new,” said Rong Ge, an assistant professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science. “I’m excited. They’re eager to learn and are interested in all sorts of things.”

Members of Orientation Staff also noticed the incoming students’ curiosity and initiative.

“They all seem really anxious to ask questions and get involved which is a positive,” said Stephanie Marecki a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences who was part of the Orientation Staff.

Though the new Marquette students are just getting acclimated to campus, sights are already set on the class of 2016.

“It’s too early to predict [the size of next year’s class], but we’re already recruiting for,” Burke said. “There’s no clear picture of what the class will look like at this time. We’re just beginning the process.”