Visionary: What the class of 2020 looks like demographically
Freshman class representative Ashleigh Godby decided to join the “Visionary” class of 2020 because of Olivet’s community vibe.
“To be Visionary is to have my sights set on my future that will inevitably be shaped by this amazing atmosphere, but at the same time, allowing God to reveal his vision for my life and being flexible enough to have my goals and dreams shaped or changed to what God would have me do,” Godby said.
There are 704 freshmen on campus this fall which is exactly where Olivet admissions was hoping enrollment numbers would be. “Our freshman enrollment target has typically been between 700-750 the last couple of years,” Director of Admissions Susan Wolff said. Their average high school grade point average came out over 3.5.
Wolff has had hands on experience with this class since last fall and said, “I’ve been impressed with the Class of 2020 ever since we started hosting Purple and Gold Days last fall. The engagement and enthusiasm of the individuals we encountered was extremely promising. “ Wolff shares a special connection with this class because her son Britten Wolff was among the incoming freshman this fall.
In record breaking numbers, 77 freshmen declared engineering as their major making it the most popular major among freshman. This beat out nursing which has historically held the most students with 72 declared majors. Over 70 freshmen have decided to come into this fall without declaring a major. Within Management Information Systems and Corporate Communications a few singular freshman have ventured out as the only students in their selected majors.
These freshmen represent a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs. Only 200 people in the freshman class identify as Nazarene, with 138 identifying as just Christian and 86 identifying as Non-denominational. Collectively they boast of over 30 different faith backgrounds including Jewish and Mormon.
Over 79% of the student body self-reports as Caucasian, with around 7% representation for both Hispanic and Black or African American students. 3% of the student body is multi-racial, and 1.5% are of Asian decent.
“[Their enthusiasm] continued to play out as we witnessed their involvement collectively at Orientation and throughout the spring and summer months on their class Facebook page,” said Wolff. “The way they support and encourage each other is amazing – I do anticipate some great things from this class.”
This class has the next 4 years to explore the world at Olivet and according to Godby they are well on their way. “I’ve seen my class work together to support their classmates and cheer them on during Ollies Follies,” said Godby. “I also feel like the majority of the freshman class took time to vote and that’s a great sign of people coming together to support their classmates.”
“As for our new student transfer goal we were shooting toward 175. We made great strides as last year we enrolled 152 and this year 169,” said Wolff. This brought the year’s new traditional undergraduate total to 373 students.
—Erica Browning, Staff Writer