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The Class of 2020 is here

August 24, 2016
families push carts full of stuff to the residence hallsCarloads of freshmen arrive at Susan B. Anthony Hall during Move-in Day. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

By the numbers: A diverse freshman class

The College’s Class of 2020 includes 1,368 freshmen from all over the globe.

They come from 49 states (all but Alaska), 90 nations and 1,089 high schools. The largest group is from Brighton High School, four miles from the River Campus. Second is the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, nearly 8,200 miles away.

United States citizens make up 73 percent of the class. China leads international nations with 9 percent. The top state is New York, with 30 percent. Fifty percent of the class is male, and 50 percent is female.

The oldest freshman is 38; the youngest turns 16 in September.

Fifteen percent of the incoming class are under-represented minorities.

The Class of 2020 has enrolled in 64 different majors. Ten percent will play varsity sports.

The most common men’s first names are Matthew, John, Michael, Andrew, and Daniel. The most common women’s first names are Hannah, Emma, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Emily.

The most common last name? Chen.

Many wide-eyed parents sat in their vehicles in Park Lot on Wednesday, waiting to drop their child off at the freshmen residence halls on the College’s annual Move-in Day.

It was business as usual for the Patel family of Jonesboro, Arkansas.

“We’re used to this,” Smita Patel said.

Her daughter, Brina Patel ’20, will major in chemical engineering and is the third sibling to attend the University. Brina’s brother, Amir, graduated in 2013, and her sister, Shreya, will graduate in 2018.

Not bad for a family who lives nearly 1,000 miles away.

“Does that tell you how much we love this school?” Smita said with a smile.

Brina has had her eye on Rochester for years.

“It’s a great engineering school and a great place to be,” she said. “I’m excited.”

Brina was one of about 900 College freshmen from a class of 1,368 who moved into their new homes on River Campus on Wednesday. The students come from 49 states – all but Alaska.

Student-athletes moved in last week, and international students from 90 nations moved in Monday. The total undergraduate enrollment is about 5,300.

Ivan Dongmo ’20 of Baltimore was the first student to arrive, checking in with school officials in Park Lot at 6:45 a.m. Dongmo’s dad is a schoolteacher in Baltimore and didn’t want to miss that city’s first day of classes on Tuesday, so they drove overnight to Rochester.

Bryce Sommer ’20 is an engineering student from Scottsdale, Arizona. He has attended a prep school in New Milford, Connecticut the past four years, and Bryce’s parents say those long-distance relationships made Wednesday much easier to deal with emotionally.

“What these parents are feeling today, we had that when Bryce was 14,” Scott Sommer said.

Bryce  applied to several colleges in the Northeast but knew Rochester was the right one after visiting.

“I loved the campus and loved the feel,” said Bryce, who plans to try out for the Rochester squash team that made it to the national championship last spring.

Families were broken into morning and afternoon shifts, where the wait from parking lot to the dorms was about one hour.

“It’s painless,” Scott Sommer said. “They really do everything for you.”

While the families waited in the single-line processions, they were serenaded by University a cappella groups the Midnight Ramblers (Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours), No Jackets Required (Brown-Eyed Girl), and After Hours (Stand By Me). Free water, lemonade, and iced coffee also were provided.

Once families arrived at the freshmen residence halls, they were greeted by student volunteers who carried luggage and personal items up to the freshmen rooms.

“The parents don’t have to do a thing,” said Eleanor Oi, director of orientation, adding that more than 200 undergraduates served as volunteers helping their new classmates move in..

An Orientation Expo in the Field House at the Goergen Athletic Center gave freshmen and their parents a chance to visit booths manned by numerous University departments. The College Convocation was held at Eastman Quad later in the day, with President Joel Seligman leading a group of school officials.

“This is probably the best-qualified class we’ve ever had at the University of Rochester,” Seligman told the crowd. “We care about you as individuals. We offer you the opportunity to study what you love.”

At the Eastman School of Music campus, 140 undergraduate and 111 graduate students also moved in on Wednesday. Classes on the River Campus and at Eastman begin next Wednesday, Aug. 31.


Move-in Day in Photos

(University photos / J. Adam Fenster)

student carrying large load

YOU GOT THIS: Steven Broida ’18 helps a family move in as carloads of freshmen arrive at Susan B. Anthony Halls.

students knitting blue and yellow stripes onto a golf cart

SNUG AS A YELLOWJACKET: Members of the Society for Crocheting and Knitting Students (S.O.C.K.S.) decorate one of the golf carts used by orientation volunteers.

student in matching t-shirts applauding the arrival of cars in front of Susan B. Anthony Halls

YOU MADE IT: Carloads of freshmen are greeted by D’Lions, Freshmen Fellows, and Resident Advisers as they arrive at Susan B. Anthony Halls.

student in car works on Rubics cube

SOLVING THE PUZZLE: Jacob Jones ’20 of Rochester has some time on his hands as he waits in Park Lot.


IT’S QUIET FROM ABOVE: Looking down from the top of Susan B. Anthony Halls as students and families arrive.


SEVEN NATION ARMY: The Pep Band entertains families as they wait to head up to the Residence Quad and Susan B. Anthony Halls on freshman Move-in Day.


ALMOST THERE: Miles Perry ’20 of Rochester passes the time as he waits to move in to his new home on River Campus.


THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES: There are more than 1,300 students in the Class of 2020, and most moved in to their new River Campus homes on Wednesday.

rock painted to read WELCOME CLASS OF 2020

WELCOME HOME: Susan B. Anthony Halls are home to most members of the Class of 2020.

overhead view of large group of students in Rettner Hall, sign says WELCOME

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS: 歡迎光臨, bem-vindos, أهلاً و سهلاً, स्वागत, bienvenue, saannu da zuwa, bienvenidos to the international students arriving in Rettner Hall.

people loadming stuff from a car into a bin

DOWNTOWN AT EASTMAN: Percussion performance major Makana Medeiros, his father, and Eastman orientation crew member Henry Benson fill up a bin on its way to Makana’s room.

Paul Burgett conducting the crowd

ALL TOGETHER NOW: Vice President Paul Burgett leads Convocation attendees and the a cappella ensembles in the singing of the Genesee.

lots of colorful confetti flying through the air

COLORFUL CONVOCATION: Confetti cannons shoot off on the quad after the Convocation ceremony.

long line of students signing the class roll

SIGNING IN: Members of the Class of 2020 sign the class roll.



large group of students holding candles in front of Rush Rhees Library

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT: The traditional candlelight ceremony on Eastman Quad marks the end of their first day on campus for the Class of 2020.


students holding candles



students holding candles

Eastman School of Music students end their first day in their new home with a candlelight ceremony,

student holding a candle in front of sheet music for THE GENESSEE

students holding candles




Category: Student Life

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