In 2011, the incoming Class of 2015 made its debut on the Rensselaer campus. Comprised of 1,192 students, in addition to a total of 120 transfer students from various institutions, this high-achieving group included 380 women and a significant increase in the national and international profile of the student body.

At the time, nearly 29 percent of the students came from areas outside of the Northeast. The first-year students hailed from 43 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and from countries all around the world, reinforcing the well-known reputation of Rensselaer as a top-tier university with global reach and global impact.

During the Student Orientation program that welcomed them to campus, Karen Long, acting vice president of enrollment management, delivered remarks noting highlights about the Class of 2015. “Within this class, 76 students were valedictorians or salutatorians in high school, and many were actively involved in music, research, and the arts. Members of this class come to Rensselaer having demonstrated extracurricular achievement, leadership, and support for civic engagement in various roles, including sports captains and class presidents, Eagle Scouts, and Girl Scout Gold Award winners, among others,” said Long.

Continuing a Rensselaer legacy, Long said that 96 students are the sons or daughters, grandsons or granddaughters of Rensselaer graduates, which serves as a wonderful testament of the value of a Rensselaer education, the impact it has on alumni and alumnae long after they have graduated from Rensselaer, and the longstanding connection Rensselaer makes as it educates men and women who are the leaders of tomorrow.

Of special note, the class also includes a student who was invited to attend President Obama’s inauguration and one who played the flute in her high school band as they participated in the inaugural parade; a student who can solve the Rubik’s Cube in 15 seconds; a student who won the Harvard University Pi contest by reciting Pi to the 387th place…while in 5th grade; a student who is a two-time national Origami finalist; and a student who is writing a novel based on his travels to Africa.

The class also appears to have several students with strong musical interests; including a student who had the opportunity to play with Tom “Bones” Malone, a musician from the Blues Brothers Band and the house band for the Late Show with David Letterman; a student who was a backup singer and glockenspiel player for OKGo at Youtube Live at the Guggenheim Museum, a student who wrote an original music score for his high school production of Macbeth; and a student who auditioned for American Idol.

A New Beginning

On Saturday, May 30, members of the Class of 2015 will cross the Rensselaer stage as they participate in the 209th Commencement Ceremony, and begin a new chapter in their lives.

“The Class of 2015 is leaving Rensselaer after four years of enriching the campus as engaged student leaders, innovative intellectuals, and transformational thinkers,” said Jennifer Forbes, class dean for the Class of 2015 in the Office of the Student Experience. “While at Rensselaer, the students truly challenged themselves continuously and achieved so much, and will take with them the skills necessary to make a vast impact on the world.”

Forbes noted that upon graduation, members of the class will bring their Rensselaer education to graduate schools that include Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying in fields such as robotics, forensics, and medicine. Other graduates will start full-time jobs with industry leaders including Facebook, Google, Procter & Gamble, and Honda, at locations from California to Missouri to Vermont, while others will be venturing out to launch their own companies.

“They have been an amazing class to partner with and I am so proud to have supported the next generation of world leaders,” Forbes said.

Prior to the start of their classes freshman year, members of the Class of 2015 participated in a weeklong series of welcome events and team-building adventures known as “Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond.”