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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Feven Getachew
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Michael Lozada
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Class of 2014 flexes its variety

One of them is a player from the National Rugby team of Georgia. One made an amazing scientific discovery and won an international competition. One grew cacti, one taught tae-kwon-do and one has taught kayaking all over the country.

The diverse backgrounds, perspectives and hobbies of incoming of first-year students help give Grinnell its character.

“It’s a much more interesting place because we have people here from so many different backgrounds and perspectives. Part of that is because people come from different places,” said Director of Admissions Doug Badger.

The new class of 2014 has 417 people chosen from a pool of 3200 applications submitted from all over the United States and the World.

“In the entering class, Iowa is the biggest state, and it is unusual. The top 4 states are Iowa, Illinois, California and New York, so they’re truly people from big cities, tiny towns, all over the country, and that’s what makes things interesting,” Badger said.

About 38 percent of applications were accepted, an increase from last year’s rate of only 27 percent. Among the accepted are 57 international students from 35 different countries.

“It is a school that offered high level of academics while still remaining in a warm, friendly, and open community,” said Nicole Paiz ’14. Paiz comes to Grinnell from Guatemala.

In addition to broadening the geographic diversity, the admissions staff is also looking for interesting backgrounds.

One student invented his own sport.

“I founded a salsa-volleyball club and called it salleyball,” said Peter Grein ’14.

Other students came here for the unique experience.

“Grinnell has quality academics like many other liberal arts schools but it also has the community and the endless opportunities that I was seeking,” said Hannah Bloyd-Peshkin ‘14, who is a certified sea kayak instructor.

Christine Ajinjeru ’14 and many other first-years bring stories of amazing community service.
“It’s a small place and you don’t feel lost here,” said Ajinjeru, who planted trees in Uganda to help the environment.

“Grinnell is a very free and diverse place that takes people in, no matter how crazy people are,” said Kuestin Wines ’14. She is a first-generation college student here at Grinnell.

Theodore Hoffman ’14 attended the International Thespian Festival because he won the Minnesota State Thespian Festival One Act competition.

“[Grinnell] reminded me of a used bookstore,” he said. “It wasn’t run down but it was gently used. They didn’t take all the money they had and spend it on flashy new buildings, but they put it on the students, and I admired that.”

An intern for Obama’s presidential campaign who worked 20 hours a week and has met Joe Biden and Obama is also among the 2014 class.

“Academics are top-notch, facilities are really nice, and so are the people. I felt a really strong sense of community and I like the strong tradition of activism and social justice on campus—besides the food is better than my mom’s cooking,” Bloyd-Peshkin said.

The class of 2014 is just getting started. Their time at Grinnell will lead them more quirky stories and ambitious ventures.

“I want to save the world from injustice,” said Sam Mulopulos ’14.

The campus of Grinnell is small, but no one here is bound by it.

“No limits,” said Nediyana Daskalova ’14 from Bulgaria, echoing Grinnell’s motto.

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