James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
The Class of 2017 will be the most racially and ethnically diverse in Connecticut College’s history, with 108 domestic students of color making up 22 percent of the enrolled freshman class. The class also represents a high level of socio-economic diversity, with 52 percent of students receiving financial aid grants from the College, compared to 45 percent in the Class of 2016.
In keeping with the College’s strong focus on international studies, 15 percent of incoming students have an international background; 42 student are citizens of 16 different countries, including China, Pakistan, Turkey, Italy, Sweden and the Republic of Maldives, and more than 30 students have lived or been educated outside the U.S. Counting non-U.S. citizens, students of color make up 29 percent of the class.
Geographic diversity is also high among the American students, who hail from a total of 35 states. New England – led by Massachusetts – is still the most common area of origin, but the top-10 states also include California (25 students) and Illinois (22). At the other end of the list, four students will travel from Texas, three from Florida, two from Hawaii and one from Alaska, for example.
Under the leadership of President Leo I. Higdon, Connecticut College has made support for a diverse and inclusive community among its top strategic priorities. This commitment is rooted in the College’s mission and values as well as research showing that students learn more when they encounter diverse perspectives and experiences. It also reflects a historical emphasis on broadening educational access: Co-educational since 1969, the College was founded in 1911 to provide liberal arts education to women who had been prohibited from studying at nearby Wesleyan University.
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