With every end comes a new beginning. For the class of 2012, that means the start of job searches in a still-unstable economy, real-world bills and responsibilities, and a host of lessons not found in a textbook. But who are these kids we’re about to unleash on polite society? In the following pages, UVA President Teresa Sullivan talks about the school that shaped them in an exclusive interview, and you’ll also meet a few of the grads themselves. Plus, you’ll find a fourth year’s Finals Week diary, a review of major UVA news stories from the past year, and meet a father and son who will walk the Lawn together come Sunday. Welcome to the big, bad world, class of 2012.
The class of 2012 at a glance
Its members were the first to apply using the online Common Application, or “Common App.” Applications totaled 18,776, with 97 percent applying electronically.
They were the first to be admitted after the demise of “early decision,” which was ended to promote economic diversity. (Early decision did not allow students time to compare financial aid offers.) The number of low-income students and students demonstrating financial need rose modestly among incoming first-years.
They were the last to be admitted under long-time Dean of Admission Jack Blackburn, who died of cancer in January 2009. A revered member of the University community, Blackburn is remembered for efforts to make a UVA education accessible to more poor and minority students.
Of first-year students who enrolled in 2008:
The median SAT score was 1322
88 percent finished in the top 10
percent of their high school classes
57 percent were female
27 percent identified themselves
14 percent were children of alumni
Final exercises by the numbers
2,000 pounds of grass seed are sown onto the Lawn starting in early spring to prepare for Finals weekend.
40 buses will transport students and guests around Grounds.
30,000-35,000 people are expected to attend.
36,000 chairs at 50 sites are needed for 6,000 graduates, their families, and guests.
UVA Catering plans to serve 500 pounds of hot dogs, 17,000 petite gourmet cookies, 500 jumbo cookies, 2,500 brownies, 400 gallons of lemonade, 200 gallons of iced tea, 4,000 bottles of water, and 400 pounds each of pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and strawberries.
Two Jumbotron television monitors will be set up on the Lawn for better viewing of the proceedings.
200 Facilities Management employees are involved in the preparation for Finals Weekend, which includes everything from setup to take down.
100 University police and security officers will be on hand for the event.
1,320′ of electric wire is used to power the monitors and speakers during the ceremony.