Meet the Entering Class of 2012

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Bard College at Simon's Rock has always attracted passionate, determined students. And this class is no different. As the admission team crisscrosses the country, counselors look for students with a thirst for knowledge, and that something extra they will bring to the community. With every contact and interview, the class takes shape.

Before students even arrive on campus, they know they have at least one thing in common. They are ready to learn.

“We look most for applicants who are just itching to learn more about the world and make their mark on it,” Steve Coleman, director of admission explains. “I make sure that they've done well in high school and are prepared for the academic challenge here, but I pay more attention to what is driving them - their passions and their goals.”

Starting college, for any student, is filled with excitement. But for Simon’s Rock scholars, Arrival Day has an added element of anticipation. Often it’s the first time they will be surrounded by like-minded students. It marks the beginning of the academic year and the beginning of intellectual pursuits most say they’ve been missing.

Students-fill-McConnell-Theater-large.jpgOn Saturday, August 18, 148 students and their families arrived on campus from across the country and around the world – ready to move into their dorms, meet their roommates, attend orientation sessions, and ready to start learning. As they filled the McConnell Theatre to capacity, Provost Peter Laipson welcomed the incoming class 2012. They were about to learn a little more about their new classmates.

Using demographics, hobbies, interests, and accomplishments to paint a picture of the group, Provost Laipson described the incoming class of 2012: “Fifty percent of you are entering after completing your 10th grade year of high school, 46% your eleventh grade year, 4% your 9th grade year, and 1% your 12th grade year.”

Provost-Laipson-desccribes-incoming-class-large.jpg“But so much more important than what you are is what you’ve done,” he added.

The audience listened intently as Provost Laipson listed the students’ numerous talents, from performing artists, musical composers, and filmmakers, to competitive athletes, nationally ranked chess players, and Robotics and Science Bowl Team members.

“One of the most gratifying things about this class is that you are committed to making the world a better place,” he praised.

“You are Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts – one of you is a member of the Order of the Arrow – and you volunteer for service organizations of every stripe: food shelters, Planned Parenthood, Coats for Kids, Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, Amnesty International, Special Olympics, Unicef, the Junior Humane Society, and public libraries and hospitals.” Laipson continued, “One of you has volunteered with children in Botswana; another works with victims of sex trafficking in India. One of you travels two hours each way to teach piano to orphans.”

Following Provost Laipson’s introductory remarks, students went immediately to class. They’ll spend the week in an intensive writing and thinking workshop, an intellectual boot camp of sorts, preparing them for the semester ahead. “The academic challenges at Simon’s Rock start on day one,” said Anne O’Dwyer, dean of academic affairs.” The college year begins with putting pen to paper.”