Baruch College Welcomes Class of 2025
August 23, 2021
Baruch College welcomed more than 2,600 new students in the Class of 2025 to the campus community with the Fall 2021 Student Convocation ceremony, a virtual event held on August 24.
A traditional ceremony at Baruch, Convocation is designed to inspire, connect, and induct first year students to the College.
Baruch President S. David Wu, PhD, delivered remarks at the virtual event, welcoming the Class of 2025 and sharing how – after three semesters of virtual interactions – the College is prepared to support students in new and more flexible ways.
Record Enrollment and Baruch’s Diverse Student Body
Dr. Wu highlighted the record application and enrollment increase –– nearly 7 percent over last year –– and reflected on the challenges of the last year for Baruch and incoming students: “That you are here means you have excelled academically during a very difficult time…this means that you have proven to be not only smart, but also resilient and determined. It means that you have what it takes to excel at being a Bearcat.”
He also emphasized the diversity of Baruch’s student body – which is frequently cited as among the most diverse in the nation. The Class of 2025 includes students from:
- 600 high schools.
- New Yorkers from all five boroughs and students from New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Florida, Goergia, Kentucky, Massachussetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
- Countries around the world, including Albania, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, India, Mexico, Niger, Northern Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Taiwan.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Essig, who joined Baruch in July of 2021, emceed the event –– her first Convocation as Provost. She also addressed students directly, saying, “Like you, I am a newcomer to Baruch…I can personally attest to Baruch’s warm welcome of new arrivals!”
Dr. Essig also touched on the importance of symbols and ceremony, commenting on why she and others were wearing academic regalia for the virtual event: “These ‘costumes’ honor the history of U.S. higher education. By wearing our regalia today, at your Student Convocation, we honor you and the journey you are about to embark on.”
Keynote Speaker and First-Year Text
Bridgett Davis, professor of journalism and creative writing at Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, was the keynote speaker at the event. Her memoir, The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers, was selected as the first-year text that new students are expected to read before the fall semester begins.
Set in Detroit during the racially turbulent 1960s and 70s, the memoir recounts how Professor Davis’ mother made “a way out of no way” and achieved the American Dream by running an underground lottery business, and providing a prosperous life for her family.
Davis hopes students will engage with American history “in the best possible way –– through a personal story of one woman.”
“I hope students will learn the specific ways in which governmental policy coupled with widespread discrimination has placed unnecessary obstacles in the paths of African Americans seeking to simply pursue the American Dream. I hope they understand just what racial justice looks like.”
Ultimately, Davis said, “I hope many of these students see their own families’ stories reflected in my own.”
The memoir is being adapted for a feature film by Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures and Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, with production potentially starting in 2022.
“Days of Welcome” Events
Following the Convocation ceremony is a robust calendar of different events, ranging from virtual tours and information sessions to networking opportunities or simple, virtual fun. More details about the event lineup can be found here.
The Office of New Student and Family Programs
Convocation and related events are organized by the Office of New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) in conjunction with the Division of Student Affairs. The NSFP office serves as a resource for newly enrolled undergraduates—both first-year and transfer students—focusing on creating a smooth transition for them and their families. Learn more about NSFP here.