Westminster Welcomes Class of 2016 with Opening of New Student Center

Aug 27, 2012

State-of-the-art "Bassis Center for Student Learning" offers new learning spaces, amenities SALT LAKE CITY - Hailing from more than 30 states and 15 countries, Westminster College welcomes the Class of 2016 to a campus fully equipped with a new state-of-the-art student center. Approximately 500 freshmen began classes on August 22, and have access to the new Bassis Center for Student Learning, a facility that includes a student commons and modern learning spaces. The new Bassis Center for Student Learning includes the college's first-ever indoor student commons, a full-service coffee shop, an architectural skylight, fireplace and solar light gathering tubes that bring in natural light. The center is also home to the Center for Civic Engagement, Environmental Center, Westminster Scholars Program, photography labs and a new state-of-the-art eportfolio lab. The facility is named after Dr. Michael Bassis, the college's former president, in honor of his intense focus on student learning. The college also boasts another year of attracting more out-of-state students than from Utah. "We are very pleased to have so many students from both in and out of Utah who recognize the value of a private liberal arts education and our unique environment for learning," said Gary Daynes, vice president for Strategic Outreach and Enrollment. "This year's freshman class demonstrates our efforts to not only become more residential, but to attract a more diverse population. This year's class is our most ethnically diverse ever, with more than 20 percent of freshmen coming from populations traditionally under-represented in college." More than 52 percent of the freshman class from out of state hail from as nearby as Idaho and as far away as Kyrgyzstan. Freshman Lauren Carter of Sandy, Utah, selected Westminster out of all the other area schools because of its Honors program and diversity. "I love the atmosphere and learning environment, as well as how diverse it is," she said. "I came from a very conservative community, so it's nice to have something different." Fellow freshman Isaac McKown traveled all the way from Charleston, W.V., to major in the college's aviation operations program and to take advantage of Westminster's location. "I like that Westminster is very outdoorsy and I love to ski," said McKown, who hopes to be a corporate pilot after graduation. In addition to the opening of the student center, the college's residential population has increased to an all-time high with the opening of "Westminster on the Draw," a new off-campus, mixed-use residential hall. The new building is set to fully open at the end of September 2012, and will include academic areas, offices and retail space. More than 690 students will reside in campus housing this year. 2012 Freshman Profile In terms of academic accomplishment, this year's freshman class possesses an average high school grade point average of 3.52, well above the national average for high school seniors. 240 or 47% are Male 271 or 53% are Female 108 or 22% are U.S. students of color 20 or 4% are international/non-resident students Average GPA: 3.52 Average ACT: 24.4 Average SAT: 1118 Geographic Information Utah: 240 or 47% Out-of-state: 271 or 53% 32 states and 15 countries are represented including: States: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, ID, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI and WY Countries: Canada, China, Ethiopia, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nepal, Norway, Russia, Saudi-Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam Financial Aid Awarded: 97% of incoming freshman class received a financial aid award Average financial aid award: $23,365 (Funding received from all sources - scholarship, work, federal loans, and grants) Total College Enrollment: Undergraduate: 2,439 Graduate: 891

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Krista DeAngelis and Arikka Von

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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