From Abedi to Zarkin, the Class of 2006 has it all

During the Orientation Opening Welcome held Aug. 22 in Wilson Chapel, President Dr. Gerald W. Gibson and vice presidents of the College welcomed new students and their parents into the Maryville College family. Rick Ziegler, vice president and dean for enrollment, took the opportunity to introduce himself to the Class of 2006 and to present the class to the College community. His remarks below include the commonalities and the distinctives that mark this newest group of students.

Aug. 22, 2002
Rick Ziegler, Maryville College Vice President and Dean for Enrollment

Good afternoon and welcome to the Maryville College community. As Vice President and Dean for Enrollment, I have the honor of presenting the Class of 2006 and our new transfer students.

Today, we expect a total of 330 new students, including 265 first year and 65 transfers, to arrive for the opening of our one hundred and eighty fourth academic year.

The Class of 2006 will be the fourth largest in history and was chosen from one of the larger applicant pools in the history of Maryville College. Well qualified academically, 33% of you ranked in the top 10% of your graduating classes. And 89% of you ranked in the top 50%. Your average standardized test scores rank among the highest in college history and your overall grade point average is one of the highest in recent years. 20% of the entering class achieved grade point averages above 4.0, and 56% of you at 3.5 or better.

Among you are 10 valedictorians. 9 of you received the Presidential Scholarship, 47 received the Dean's Scholarship, 2 of you received the Isaac Anderson Fellowship and 1 of you has been chosen to be our second Mountain Challenge Fellowship recipient. These represent the highest awards given to entering Maryville College students. Selected from over 160 candidates, the grade point average for this group is a 3.92 with an average ACT composite score of 29.

Geographically, we welcome you from several blocks away and from around the world. You come from 13 different states and at least 2 foreign countries. Two-thirds of you are from Tennessee. Others are from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. We also welcome you from abroad, from Russia, and Sudan.

Many of you have given a great deal of thought about your eventual choice of major might be. About 30% of you have indicated that you still are relatively undecided about that choice. A large number of you have indicated that you plan to study beyond the achievement of your Bachelor's Degree.

52% of our new students are women and 48% are men. 15% of you describe yourselves as members of a minority racial group. It is worthy of note that many of you have parents and grandparents who are Maryville College graduates, and an even larger number of you are siblings, cousins, nieces or nephews of current or former Maryville College Students.

This class has it all, from Abedi to Zarkin…. that is. The most popular last name this year is Wilson, there are 3 of you. In addition, there are 32 of you who share a common last name. And, there is an almost, a Love, a Lovely and a Lovingood.

We have 6 former and 1 current United States Presidents in Buchanan, Bush, Carter, Johnson, Reagan, Taylor and Wilson.

There are Artisans and Trades people in Cook, Weaver, Sexton, Taylor and Waggoner, and baseball greats in Berra, Ruth, Lyle, Maddox, Martin, and Ramirez.

Biblical names are plentiful with David, Matthew, Isaiah, Mark, Daniel, Jeremiah, Sarah, and Adam.

There are even several if I wonder would room together………Explorers, Lewis and Clark and Daniel and Boone; Large and Little; NASCAR immortals Dale and Eharhardt; a Fox and Hunt. A Valentine and Love and Time keepers Auer and Minich ( a bit of a stretch).

We have 2 potential triples. One group studying Anatomy in Arms, Nee and Hart.

And, if you consider that you will become true fighting Scots at Maryville College, Patriotic Composers in Francis, Scott, and Key.

At least 121 of you have common birthdays, the most popular one being March 5….there are 5. We have a pair of perennial trick or treators on October 31st. Finally and most importantly, three of you have birthdays this week. Happy Birthday!!!!

The most popular name among you is Jessica, there are 9 of you. A closer look at the entire class indicates that there are 43 first names that are duplicates, ranging from Ashley to Zachary.

Most of you were exceptionally active in your high school classes, with many of you serving in leadership roles in student government as student body and class presidents and vice presidents. The list of individuals who were inducted into the National Honors Society is a long one, as is the number of your class who were active in band, choir and in dramatic and musical theatre performances. The number of you who wrote for, or edited your high school yearbooks, newspapers or literary magazines is impressive, with several of you serving as editors in chief. About half of you participated in varsity sports, with many of you elected as captain. Most impressive is the number of you who served as volunteers in your high schools, communities and local congregations to offer your talents to those in need. We hope that you will remain active here, continuing your service on your own, or through one of our many volunteer service organizations.

All of us who read your applications for admission were struck by your high aspirations and desire to give back in service to your communities, the nation and the world. Many of you, both women and men, talked about the role that your families have played in your success. While you expect to be successful and comfortable financially in your chosen fields and professions, you are concerned about the disadvantaged, the national political climate, and the world economy.

Some envision yourselves as successful entrepreneurs, journalists, financial managers, researchers, youth counselors and responsible regional or national leaders. Others expect to contribute through medicine, law, the arts, the ministry or teaching. You believe that your enrollment at Maryville College will help you make a positive difference in all aspects of your lives. At the same time, most of you recognize the role that you have in making that difference.

With great pride for Maryville College and in your academic and personal accomplishments, we have confidence that each of you has the potential and the ability to distinguish yourselves in a variety of ways while you are here.

On behalf of all who helped bring these new students together, your families, the members of the admissions and financial aid staffs, our faculty, coaches, alumni, current students and friends of the College, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you, the Class of 2006 and transfer students, to Maryville College.

Will our new students stand and be recognized?