Grove City College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 officially welcomed incoming freshmen and their families Thursday to the College community, encouraging new students to embrace the opportunities before them at this pivotal time in their lives.
“We expect that the class of 2020 will possess great vision,” he said, eliciting laughter from a crowd of hundreds of students and parents before making a larger point to “see your opportunity clearly.”
Grove City College students are among the “two percenters,” McNulty said, explaining that just 2 percent of students born in 1998 are expected to enroll this fall in colleges like Grove City, which have posted an outstanding record of student success as evidenced by their four-year graduation rates. Grove City College’s 78 percent four-year graduation rate tracks nearly 20 points above the national average.”
McNulty told incoming freshmen, “Don’t miss the extraordinary opportunity that is now beginning. Understand it. Be thankful for it, and be good stewards of it by embracing the challenge and being intentional in your engagement. You bring the aptitude and character required to excel and learn at an academically rich school, to experience the life of the mind and an amazing journey of the heart. Hold firm to the opportunities before you and be thankful for this path forward.”
Thursday was Move-in Day at Grove City College, which heralds the arrival of freshmen and marks the beginning of a month-long series of events designed to cultivate community. McNulty explained that “everyone who works here, faculty, staff and fellow students want you to succeed.”
“We are a community. We are intentional about that,” McNulty said. “That’s what we care about and that’s what we want you to benefit from the most.”
Monday marks the beginning of a new academic year at the College and the 140th anniversary of the arrival in 1876 of the first class of 13 students to the academy that became Grove City College. Much has changed since then, but the mission laid out by the College’s founders remains the same: to provide an excellent academic experience at an amazing value in a Christian community of learners.
This year’s 590-member freshmen class includes students from 36 states and international students from Africa to China. Grove City College students come from diverse educational backgrounds across public, private, parochial and homeschool experiences.
The Class of 2020 boasts impressive academic and public service credentials. Nearly 40 percent of Grove City College freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their classes. The average GPA of the class is 3.68 and more than 20 percent were leaders in high school student government activities. Sixty-four percent of all freshmen have engaged in regular community service and this young class already has 269 mission trips under its collective belt.
The most popular declared majors for the Grove City College class of 2020 include: Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Business Management, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Accounting.
“The entire campus community is excited about your arrival because our calling is to help equip you for God's unique calling in your life,” McNulty said.