On Matriculation Day for the Class of 2022, Dean of Admissions Karen Richardson welcomed new students to the campus community.
Congratulations to the Tufts University Class of 2022 and our enrolling transfer students. As Dean of Admission, I am proud and humbled to offer you a warm welcome to this campus that you will call home for this next stage in your lives. My colleagues and I delighted in the stories you shared with us about your experiences leading to this place and this day, and we are honored to welcome you to the Jumbo community.
As individuals and as a whole, you give the university a lot of reasons to be proud. Last year, Tufts received a record 21,501 applications. As our admissions team worked its way through this vast and incredibly talented pool, we made careful and deliberate choices to help jump-start a community of smart, engaged, creative and collaborative individuals. We were able to offer admission to just 14.6% of those who applied, and you are sitting here because our office saw something special in each and every one of you. At the end of the process you honored US by saying “yes” to our offer.
Statistically, you are impressive. The Class of 2022 hails from 49 countries outside of the United States. This year we welcome students from Lebanon, New Zealand and Rwanda. You come from 45 states as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. 141 of you are the children of Tufts alumni. 39 are the children of Tufts faculty or staff. 202 of you are among the first generation in your family to pursue a bachelor’s degree. And women represent 49% of the incoming School of Engineering class – a record high.
Yes, you are all academically accomplished. But let me be clear – your place here was earned not just on academic prowess, but because of the intangible and significant gifts that we believe you will bring to the Tufts community.
For example, you bring a high level of curiosity about the world around you. Whether it’s obtaining a patent for renewable energy based off of ambient light or designing eco friendly bat houses to help control the mosquito population in the name of community health, you have reached beyond the walls of your high schools to explore solutions to challenges facing your homes and communities. This curiosity will serve you well as you embark on this next phase. Keep asking questions!
You value the differing opinions of others. Many of you described the work you do through student government, peer mentoring, or jobs and internships that allowed you to hear opposing points of view which, in turn, often prompted you to think differently about a subject or situation. As one classmate wrote, “the people I encounter, the literature I read, and the teachers who challenge me to dare to know all have the power to impact my beliefs.” Keep listening to others.
You are not afraid to try new things. You have founded organizations dedicated to empowering young girls in the STEM fields, co-founded a cattle ranch in Patagonia, and competed in the canoe and kayak world championships among many other activities that encouraged you to step outside of your comfort zone. Your time here will be filled with opportunities to engage in something new, and we encourage you to keep doing so.
Finally, you have a sense of humor. You sent us haiku, raps about your favorite US presidents, tales of hilarious family dinners, and one of your classmates described their sense of the 1980’s as a “period of spontaneous boogie, screeching harmonies and velvety brass”…So do I, my friend. And I was there! After all, college is about academics, but it’s also about the fun times you’ll share with your classmates over your time here.
We’ve done our part in assembling a community of artists, scientists, philosophers and engineers. Now it’s your turn to reach out to each other, form strong bonds, learn from and teach one another to make this college journey a transformational one for yourself and your classmates. On behalf of my colleagues in Bendetson Hall, congratulations, have fun, and Go Jumbos!
Photo by Alonso Nichols for Tufts University