| A Record-Setting
SPU Welcomes Its Largest and Most Academically Prepared Freshman
RECORDS FELL THIS AUTUMN as Seattle Pacific University’s
enrollment grew to 3,728 — the largest in the institution’s
112-year history. Swelling the count is a record freshman class of
683 students, 80 more than a year ago. Not only the largest but the
most academically prepared, the Class of 2007 set records for highest
SAT average (1154, up from 1141) and high school GPA average (3.65,
up from 3.58).
New student applications increased
12.2 percent over last year.
“Judging by its quality and diversity, this freshman class
is going to make a real difference in the world,” says Marj
Johnson, vice president for administration and university relations.
Equally impressed with the incoming freshmen is Jennifer Kenney,
director of undergraduate admissions. “We will see exciting
things out of them,” she predicts. “They are a
great fit for SPU with lots of service experience and a genuine
excitement to be here.” In addition to a comprehensive strategic
admissions plan, three particular University initiatives turned in
Diversity Initiative. The ethnic minority population at
SPU rose to a record 13.3 per-cent of new students, compared to a
three-year average of 9–10 percent. The five available ethnic
minority scholarships for freshmen in 2003–2004 attracted a
total of 105 applicants.
Science Initiative. The opening of the Science Building
and renewed commitment to the sciences at Seattle Pacific resulted
in a 35 percent increase in freshmen indicating interest in the natural
sciences, and a 40 percent increase in freshmen indicating interest
Graduate Enrollment Initiative. For the second year in a
row, the fall enrollment for graduate programs has topped 800 students.
This year’s growth is due to increases in the clinical psychology
doctoral program and in several master’s degree programs, including
nursing, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages),
and marriage and family therapy.
Positive trends are also being seen in graduation rates. “Our
four-year graduation rate improved by nine percent this year,” says
Johnson. “Our six-year graduation rate (the standard national
reporting measure) improved to 62 percent from 60 percent last year
and is up 16 percent in the last decade.” The average
SPU student graduates in four years plus one or two quarters.
Other undergraduate numbers of inter-est: Students from 44 states
and 24 countries enrolled at Seattle Pacific this fall; children
of SPU alumni comprise 8 percent of the student population; and the
number of those residing in campus housing is 60 percent, or 1,663
— BY CLINT KELLY
— PHOTO BY GREG SCHNEIDER
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