Temple Times Online Edition
    SEPTEMBER 2, 2004
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Fall starts with arrival
of Temple’s largest class

Nearly 3,900 new freshmen bring their bags
and boxes, talent and ambition to campus

For incoming freshman Angela Stauffer, it was love at first sight. Ditto for freshman Greg Dixon.

Echoing the enthusiasm of their classmates — some 3,900 strong — both knew when they made their first visits to Temple’s Main Campus that they had found their school of choice.

“I saw [the campus] and I loved it! It was cool. And I like being in the city a lot,” said Stauffer, who grew up in Quarryville, Pa. (population: 10,000). A declared biochemistry major, she’s rethinking a pharmacy career and looking forward to exploring the career options that her major — and Temple — offer.

Dixon, a mechanical engineering major from western Pennsylvania and a walk-on to Temple’s football team, applied to “about 15 or 16 schools” and was accepted at nearly all of them.

“I am very happy I’m here,” said Dixon, who was accepted into the Honors Program. “I want to work hard and be successful, and everyone here is so willing to help you out — they want you to succeed.”

Temple’s freshman class — 200 students more than last year’s entering class — continues a six-year trend of increasing applications and dramatic enrollment growth.

“The number and academic credentials of the new freshmen and transfer students keeps steadily rising,” said Timm Rinehart, associate vice president for enrollment. “Since fall 1998, freshman applications have increased 93 percent and enrollment by 73 percent. And just as important, the rich multicultural and geographic diversity of our student body continues to increase.”

Nearly 500 of this year’s new freshmen come with high school GPAs of 3.8 to 4.0 and 800 have SATs of 1200 or better.

In addition to the incoming freshman class, some 2,700 new transfer students are entering Temple this fall.

“The University has been undergoing a significant transformation in teaching, research opportunities and the campus itself,” President David Adamany said. “More and more students are choosing to enroll at Temple for the world-class education it offers in a vibrant, diverse campus atmosphere.”

The University’s aggressive hiring of new faculty — along with six new deans hired in the past two years — underscores Temple’s commitment to significantly strengthening academic programs. Among the 55 new professors on board this fall are accomplished academics from such highly respected institutions as Princeton, Brown, UCLA, the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California at Berkeley. Plans call for new faculty recruitment to continue, with officials anticipating a total of 170 new hires by this time next year. (See below and Page 2 for more on Temple’s faculty recruitment drive.)

“This is Temple’s time,” Provost Ira Schwartz said. “We are growing our faculty in strategic academic areas, hiring tenure-track professors who are bringing established reputations in their respective fields to Temple. Our students will reap the benefits of this exciting new educational environment.”

With a 3.86 high school GPA and an impressive 1440 on his SATs (a perfect 800 in math), academic quality was clearly a deciding factor for Sterling Kramer of Garwood, N.J., who chose Temple over Penn State and Stanford and is planning on a career in medicine.

And Temple remains affordable. With double-digit tuition increases making headlines nationwide, Temple has steadfastly held the line on tuition with a 6 percent increase for 2004-05.

Temple’s Class of 2008 also reflects the remarkable diversity that contributes to the campus’s cosmopolitan “real world” ambience, another drawing card for Temple students: 40 percent of entering freshmen self-report their ethnicity as other than white.

After graduating fifth out of 250 in her high school class, Jen Tuomisto of Sunbury, Pa., took a yearlong detour. As a Rotary International exchange student, she took French and theater classes in Belgium, and then traveled through Europe before returning to enroll in Temple’s theater program, turning down an acceptance from Syracuse.

“I love the atmosphere and how diverse it is here,” the aspiring film actress said. “As soon as I stepped onto campus, I said, ‘This is where I’m going.’”

Temple’s urban setting was also a draw, with its thriving cultural life and breadth of opportunity to pursue acting, she said. “And I love to volunteer and do something out in the community,” added Tuomisto, who founded a student organization at her high school that held food and clothing drives and helped build a local playground.

“For me, everything pointed to Temple.”

By Harriet Goodheart