• Benny the River Hawk helps first-year students move into their residence halls.

August 23, 2018

Susquehanna University opened its 161st academic year with 676 new students, one of the largest and most academically successful incoming classes in the university’s history.

Opening Convocation officially marks the beginning of the academic year. The Class of 2022 hails from 16 states and eight countries. Twenty percent of the incoming class come from historically underrepresented groups and 32 percent are the first members of their families to go to college.

University President Jonathan D. Green urged students to remember why they are at Susquehanna.

“Susquehanna University educates students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world,” Green said. “This is our mission. This is the creed of our community.”

The Class of 2022 represents just 11 percent of a very strong applicant pool, according to Madeleine Rhyneer, vice president for enrollment and student financial services, the most competitive in Susquehanna’s history.

The incoming undergraduates include 632 first-year students, 14 of whom are international students, 42 who are transferring from other colleges and two foreign exchange students.

Susquehanna received more than 5,700 applications for the fall. The median grade point average of the Class of 2022 is 3.6, and the average SAT scores are up 22 points over the Class of 2021. Additionally, 41 percent of the incoming class ranked in the top 20 percent of their high school graduating class.

Rhyneer shared some additional interesting facts about the Class of 2022, who she described as leaders in academic and community engagement:

  • 65 percent have declared majors in the School of Arts and Sciences
  • 22 percent have declared majors within the Sigmund Weis School of Business
  • 58 percent were academic scholars in high school
  • 13 percent participated in student government in their high schools
  • More than 30 percent participated in band, choir or drama activities
  • More than half participated in a varsity sport, and of those, more than half played more than one sport

Each year, a new university theme is chosen—this year’s is resilience—and the common reading for incoming first-year students relates to this theme.

Green encouraged students to use their time at Susquehanna to develop a resilient spirit that will carry them through the inevitable challenges they will face as college students.

“In anticipation of the myriad inevitabilities we all face, you are here to develop the tools to live your lives as fully as you can, to respond to challenges with grit and poise, and to lift up those around us whose resolve is spent,” Green said. “I am hopeful that in this place you now call alma mater, you will cultivate the wisdom and courage to provide the resilience needed to make and sustain the change you most wish to see in the world.”