Expanded remarks from today’s Matriculation Ceremony for the Tufts University Class of 2024 and our incoming transfer students.
Welcome to Tufts! As Dean of Admissions, and one of the people who had the honor of reading your application, I am thrilled to welcome you, our newest first-year and transfer students.
You are a member of a historically diverse entering class, admitted from the largest applicant pool on record. By coming to Tufts, you have the opportunity to learn with, and from, classmates who have lived very different lives than you on their journeys to the Hill.
So let me tell you about who you are as a class:
We are welcoming 1620 new first-year students to Tufts, matriculating into our School of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.
You are matriculating to Tufts from over 1,000 different secondary schools.
You come from Dorchester and Santa Fe and Beijing
and the Bronx and Milwaukee and Kathmandu
and Gulfport, Mississippi and Palo Alto and Sao Paolo, Brazil
and a small town of 3,000 people nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire
And hundreds more towns, large and small, urban, suburban, and rural, on five continents across the world.
In fact, you represent 49 US states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington DC. Nearly 12% of you are foreign citizens. Altogether, 62 different passports are represented in the first-year class, 8 of which were not otherwise currently represented in our undergraduate community, including Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
Your class includes the largest enrollment of African American students, Asian American students, Latinx/Hispanic students, and students with Native or Indigenous heritage of any first-year class on record.
192 of you are first-generation college students, like I was, smashing barriers on your path to higher education.
125 of you worked with college access and community-based organizations that played a role in your journey to college, including SCS Noonan Scholars, A Better Chance, NJ SEEDS, Steppingstone Foundation, Bottom Line, ASP Dallas, and La Vida Scholars. 45 of you are QuestBridge Scholar Finalists. 78 of you participated in our Voices programs in the Fall of 2019.
You have accomplished much already in your lives, too much to fully represent here. Instead, I’ll offer a few highlights:
And 44 of you are enrolling after completing a gap-year experience, whether through our Tisch College 1+4 Bridge Year, or another experience altogether.
We are also welcoming 130 new transfer students to Tufts, matriculating into our School of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, including 6 students into our Resumed Education for Adult Learning (R.E.A.L.) Program.
You are matriculating to Tufts from over 80 different colleges and universities, public and private, large and small, from across the country and around the world. Your previous institutions include liberal arts colleges, research universities, women’s colleges, and schools specializing in art and music. 10% of you are enrolling from 2-year and community colleges, including Bunker Hill Community College, Massachusetts Bay Community College, and Massasoit Community College right here in Massachusetts.
13% of you are first-generation college students. 26% of you are foreign citizens. And one of you represents the 6th continent among our incoming cohort.
Here are just a few examples of what you have accomplished before arriving at Tufts:
And this can be said of any of our new students, whether first-year or transfer:
You are smart...and a little nerdy, in the very best ways. You are athletes, artists, actors, and stage managers. You are beekeepers, musicians, and leaders of your schools’ LGBTQ clubs. You are political campaign interns, K-pop superfans, and passionate stewards of the natural environment, working to ensure the future of our planet. Thank you.
And finally, you are kind, you are curious, you are ambitious, and you are civically-minded.
And now you are Jumbos, embarking on this journey at a historic moment in time, whether here on campus, remotely from locations around the world, or as part of our residential program at Beijing Normal University. Welcome to the herd.
I hope your classmates intrigue you.
I hope they challenge you in ways that help you grow.
I hope you are humbled by them.
I also hope you are empowered by the special voice and experiences that you bring to Tufts.
We invited you here partly because of your accomplishments, but also because of your particular promise, potential, and voice. Each and every one of you is an important and necessary member of our community.
Classes start in a few days. As you dive deeply into our curriculum and as the fullness of college settles in, keep learning new things about one another, keep lifting each other up, and keep reveling in this journey together.
I see you. I appreciate you. I’m glad you’re here. Welcome to Tufts!