WASHINGTON, PA (June 3, 2015) — More than 400 students have chosen to be a President, and will make up the incoming Class of 2019 at Washington & Jefferson College.
“Prospective students are showing high interest in W&J, and we are thrilled to admit one of the largest and most talented groups in the College’s 234-year history,” said Robert Gould, vice president for enrollment.
W&J will welcome 410 new Presidents to campus this fall, arriving from 22 states and Washington, D.C., and from more than 10 countries, including Jordan, China, Egypt, India and Vietnam, among others.
“W&J offers a challenging academic atmosphere, and this class has shown that it’s ready to take on that challenge,” Gould said. “We expect great things from this class.”
For incoming freshman Peyton Stajduhar of White Oak, Pa., W&J felt like home from her first visit. She isn’t sure what she wants to study yet – there’s still plenty of time to decide – but said she is leaning toward social work and Spanish.
“I chose to be a President because when I toured W&J for the first time as a sophomore in high school I felt an overwhelming sense of welcoming,” she said. “I felt every staff member I met would help me succeed and find my passion.”
Stajduhar and fellow first year Leilla Sukalic of Lakewood, Ohio both participated in chorus at their high schools and plan to join choir at W&J, where they look forward to working with Susan Medley, Ph.D., director of choral activities and professor of music.
W&J’s unique opportunities for travel and service-learning attracted Megan Yosko of Royersford, Pa. She is planning to study biology and is considering a pre-med track. She participated in volunteer work and community activities while in high school, and also completed a study abroad program.
“W&J has so many amazing opportunities that other colleges don’t have,” she said. “I cannot wait to complete a Magellan Project. I plan to play club soccer and join the yoga club. Everyone just wants you to succeed and be the most well-rounded student you can be!”
For other students, like Stephon Burton from Fort Washington, Maryland, W&J’s award-winning athletic teams accentuated the draw of a complete and rigorous academic program.
“I’m looking forward to the people I’m going to meet, as well as playing lacrosse at the next level…it’s a big part of who I am,” Burton said. “I plan to study political science and I can’t wait to call W&J my home for the next four years!”
Scott McGuinness, co-director of the W&J Athletics Office with Mark Lesako, said Burton certainly won’t be alone – nearly 40 percent of W&J’s total student body are student athletes competing in one of the College’s 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports.
“Academics are the primary focus for Washington & Jefferson College student-athletes. In conjunction with that, our student-athletes thrive in competitive athletic environments in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference and other affiliated leagues,” McGuinness said. “W&J offers some of the top athletic facilities in the country, including the home for Presidents’ baseball, Ross Memorial Park, which hosted the 2015 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional. Our talented and hard-working coaching staff is very excited for this next group of Presidents to join their teammates as they work towards a celebrating more championships.”
Also notable is the increased number of international students on campus, arriving both as full-time, incoming freshmen, and as students of the College’s English Language Institute, now in its third year.
“The diversity international students add creates greater discourse within our community,” said ELI Director Dana Poole, Ph.D. Poole said that across disciplines, the world is “internationalizing.” Students from the ELI program have matriculated as full-time W&J students each semester, and Poole said she expects that number to increase as more international students choose to attend W&J, but first join the ELI program to improve English language and cultural skills.
“Increasing the number of international students on campus helps prepare all students to work in an increasingly intercultural environment,” she said. “We’re excited for the opportunities all students will have as they enter W&J this year.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.
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