September 2008

The ABCs of the Class of '12

We've got everyone from a principal cellist to National Merit Scholars (55, in fact) to a Dairy Princess

By Helene Ragovin

The 1,302 members of Tufts’ Class of 2012 are an eclectic bunch, with as many different interests, backgrounds and accomplishments as you can imagine. Here's a primer on some of the people and facts that make the new class intriguing:

The 1,302 members of the class of 2012 represent 859 high schools worldwide. Photo: Alonso Nichols

A is for All-State athletes, of which there are 24.
B is for biology-along with international relations, one of the top anticipated majors for students in Arts and Sciences.
C is for the principal cellist for the New England Conservatory Orchestra, who is a member of the class.
D is for the Dairy Princess of Columbia County, N.Y., joining the class.
E is for the 50 elephant statuettes that have already been amassed by one new Jumbo.
F is for "first in the family" to attend college, which describes 147 students.
G is for Girl Scout Gold Award winners, of which there are an even dozen.
H is for high schools . 859 of them from around the world are represented.
I is for immigrants, from almost every continent, who are now part of the university community.
J is for the many jobs held by the parents of these new students: astronomer, ambassador, baker, bookseller..
K is for Katherine, the most popular first name for women in the class (there are 33).
L is for Lacrosse Player of the Year, from South Carolina.
M is for Medford-along with Somerville, hometown to 13 freshmen.
N is for National Merit Scholars, a bumper crop of 55.
O is for offspring-90 new students are the children of Tufts alumni.
P is for a published book of poetry, written by a new student from New Delhi.
Q is for Quran-at least one Jewish student wants to learn to study it in Arabic.
R is for religious affiliation-or, rather, "no religious affiliation," the description chosen by most of the incoming class.
S is for SATs-the class has the highest two-part SAT mean in university history, at 1415.
T is for transgendered, which describes two members of the class.
U is for Uganda, the birthplace of a student who now hails from Mississippi and speaks eight tribal languages.
V is for valedictorians, with 46 in the class (and 43 salutatorians).
W is for the West Coast, which 10 percent of the class calls home.
X is for Malcolm X, whose grand-niece arrived on the Hill.
Y is for yearbook editors-along with school newspaper editors, they number more than 50.
Z is for Zimbabwe, one of the 33 nations represented.

Helene Ragovin may be reached at

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