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Centre’s Class of 2016 most racially, geographically diverse ever

The 356 students making up the Class of 2016, arriving on campus this fall, will represent the most racially and geographically diverse group Centre has ever seen.

DANVILLE, Ky. (May 21, 2012) — Centre College remains a desired destination for bright and talented young men and women from throughout the nation and across the globe as indicated by yet another successful recruitment effort, according to Bob Nesmith, Centre’s dean of admission and financial aid.

New students arriving in the fall of 2012 will represent the most racially and geographically diverse group the college has ever seen.

“The class also has the exceptional academic profile to which we’ve been accustomed,” he said.

The incoming class of 356 new students is nearly equally split by gender (51 percent men and 49 percent women), bringing total fall enrollment to around 1,325.

Nesmith reported that 20 percent of the incoming class self-identifies as students of color, up from 16 percent the previous year, and 31 states and three countries are represented. For the first time in decades, as many out-of-state students as Kentucky students are in the class, including 19 international students, up from eight last year.

John A. Roush, Centre’s president, praised Nesmith and the admission team “for securing, once again, a class of first-year students that sets the standard for Kentucky’s other colleges and universities, and for attracting an entering class that is measured against the nation’s best liberal arts colleges.”

As Centre becomes a more national institution with an international focus, “we will continue to place a value on affordability, because high achievement and high opportunity go hand-in-hand at Centre College,” Roush added.

The broad mix of incoming students includes 16 percent from the South (excluding Kentucky), 16 percent from the Midwest, 8 percent from the East Coast and 5 percent from the West and Southwest. While the majority of international students are from China (17 total), South Korea and Vietnam also are represented.

In addition, the academic profile of the incoming class improved. The average ACT test score for the incoming class is 28.3, up from 28.1 the previous year, and the midrange ACT score remains 26 to 31, with a median score of 29.

In partnership with the James Graham Brown Foundation of Louisville, Centre will welcome its fourth class of students in the Brown Fellows Program. Considered one of the nation’s elite fellowship programs, Brown Fellows receive “full-ride-plus” scholarships that include four summer enrichment experiences. The 10 new fellows hail from Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Oregon and Tennessee, as well as from China.

The entering class also includes nine students from Boston, selected through Centre’s now seven-year partnership with the Posse Foundation. Founded in 1989, the foundation helps identify public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who might be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Six of this year’s nine Centre Posse Scholars are first-generation college students. All will receive four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.

Because Centre is highly residential, with nearly 98 percent of students living on campus, the increased enrollment will be accommodated by completion in August of a $15 million residential facility, the A. Eugene Brockman Residential Commons. Made possible by the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust of Bermuda, the 125-bed facility will house mainly juniors and seniors.