This year’s incoming class may not be as large as last year’s record-breaking group of first-year students, but they statistically are of the highest academic quality Butler University has ever seen in a single class.
The class of 2015 boasts the highest collective GPA of any freshman class, finishing high school with an average GPA of 3.76. They also set a standard with high ACT and SAT scores—28 and 1751, respectively.
The academically competitive class may be attributed to the increase in applicants, up 41 percent from last year, said Tom Weede, vice president of enrollment management.
Ultimately, 931 students are in the incoming class.
“It’s a great group of students coming in,” Weede said. “It complements the students that have already been here.”
For the first time, a majority of the incoming students are from outside Indiana.
Approximately 54 percent of the students are from out-of-state, which Weede attributed to the tremendous national publicity Butler received from its first Final Four appearance in 2010.
The amount of free advertising Butler received from each of its Final Four appearances is valued at around $500 million, according to a study commissioned by the university this spring.
Easing the transition
With another school year beginning, Butler’s annual Welcome Week events are in full swing to help ease first-year students’ transition to their new lives at Butler.
Ben Hunter, Butler University chief of police and director of public safety, said that the increased amount of foot and automobile traffic on campus is the main concern of officers this week.
“This isn’t the weekend to be writing tickets,” Hunter said.
BUPD’s primary focus will be making sure traffic flows as smoothly as possible and that parking is readily available.
Last year, BUPD changed the loop around Jordan Hall into a one-way road to help facilitate traffic flow during Welcome Week, and it has since become a permanent one-way street with an official street name.
BUPD also finished installing a new operations room and an Incident Command System this year, which will help them monitor and handle any potential issues on campus.
The most important goal of Welcome Week is that new students feel accepted as part of the Butler family.
“This community cares about our students,” President Jim Danko said in his convocation address on Sunday.
J.J. Huber, a sophomore marketing major and transfer student from St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania, said he was impressed with how helpful and personable faculty members have been at Butler.
First-year physician’s assistant major Faye Thanas said she hopes her fellow classmates follow the example of open-mindedness that she’s seen in the upperclassmen.
For students like Thanas, Welcome Week helps the transition of becoming a part of the Butler community.