Fall 2002 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home


A New Year,
A New Beginning

Each fall, the first-year class brings with it an unbridled sense of enthusiasm. This year was no exception as 547 new students and 16 new faculty arrived for the 2002 Opening Convocation and Orientation.

Add to this infusion of new talent 1,500 returning upperclassmen, 138 talented returning faculty and 366 dedicated staff, and it is difficult to imagine anything less than an exciting and productive year ahead. One of the rewarding aspects of being part of the Muhlenberg campus community is this feeling of an annual sense of renewal and rejuvenation. I am pleased to be a part of it.

If the new class follows in the footsteps of the Class of 2005, 95 percent will return next August as sophomores, a retention record among the finest in the country. Eighty percent will graduate in 2006 or 2007 compared to a 43 percent graduation completion rate within four to five years for all types of colleges and universities nationally.

Among the new class are 22 class or student body presidents, four valedictorians and 258 members of the National Honor Society. One first-year student is a magician, another is a seeing-eye dog trainer and still another races turtle doves/homing pigeons. All three count among their classmates a world-champion cyclist who is trying to qualify for the Olympic team. Our first-year theatre students boast a member of the original cast album of “Children of Eden” and a member of the national tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The new class also includes 28 newspaper editors and 21 student government presidents.

The variety of backgrounds and experiences among the new faculty members is equally impressive. First and foremost, Muhlenberg is an academic community. The faculty’s teaching and interaction with students represents the heart of the Muhlenberg experience. Ninety-five percent of our students reside on campus, affording them endless opportunities to complement academic experiences with valuable co-curricular and extra-curricular programming and student services. This combination of academics and opportunities for personal growth, along with demonstrated care and concern for each student, defines Muhlenberg’s increasing and continued success, as well as its popularity among college-bound high school students and their parents.

However, the sum total of Muhlenberg’s achievement over the years must be measured primarily by the accomplishments of its 16,000 alumni who, in their professional and personal lives, continue to make their mark on society.

This year of transition to new presidential leadership is once again marked by a strong sense of renewal throughout the campus community. A nationwide search for the 12th president of Muhlenberg College is well underway and we anticipate a terrific pool of candidates.


James Steffy, Interim President


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