First-year students have diverse backgrounds

From over 26 states and two different countries, Guilford’s Class of 2020 has interspersed and immersed itself in the Quaker family.

“I am pretty sure that you have heard it time and time again — the diversity in this class,” said First Year Experience Director Barbara Boyette. “We have a lot of very bright students who are motivated to get involved.”

The admissions department handpicked these bright students from thousands of applications to contribute to the Guilford campus.

“We are test-optional and holistic in our review of applicants for admission,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Arlene Cash.

“While we pay close attention to writing skills because writing is such an important part of our curriculum, we also look at students themselves. How has the student progressed academically throughout high school?  How do they handle adversity and setbacks?  Do they know the importance and value of intellectual exploration or just follow the program that is the easiest?”

This year’s first-years demonstrate an exceptional maturity that excites Guilford faculty and staff.

“There is no half-stepping about this class of scholars,” said Cash. “They approach their classes, their activities, everything with their whole selves. They are SERIOUS about making a difference here, in their communities and about their classes.”

Faculty also recognize and appreciate the zeal for community service.

“For convocation, I had a spreadsheet of information about them, and a number of things impressed me,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Beth Rushing.

“One is the amount of volunteer work people have done: service trips, volunteer work and regular service activities students are involved in.”

Administration hopes their dedication to the community flourishes at Guilford.

“We want their excitement,” said Cash. “I am optimistic that they are going to carry that volunteer spirit and their sense of community engagement to their work at Guilford.”

“I hope they will engage in the many avenues for involvement at Guilford,” said Boyette. “There is so much to do here and so much more that we can do.  We need everyone to contribute their unique talents and strengths to not only make Guilford a better place, but our greater community as well.”

Students also look forward to their experience at Guilford.

“Guilford was an incredibly attractive prospect on multiple fronts,” said first-year Jedidiah Edwards. “It was a smaller school in a student-friendly area that had a very diverse and open student body, and I simply felt like it would be an ideal environment for me to grow both as a student and as someone looking to learn more about themselves.”

“I think one of the most exciting things about Guilford is the fact that there are so many different opportunities and creative outlets for us as students, and I am incredibly eager to try out the different activities and be a part of all the groups that interest me.”

As students complete the first couple weeks of classes, faculty and staff continue their efforts to smooth students’ transition into Guilford.

“We have been working hard to make sure that our new students get here knowing that this is their Guilford,” said Cash. “They are not guests here, they are Guilford.”