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Mount prepares to welcome largest class ever

 James Rada, Jr.
Emmitsburg News-Journal

Mount St. Mary's University will welcome its largest freshman class ever when the Class of 2013 arrives this month to begin their studies. As of July 10, 476 students had paid their initial fees and had been accepted to the university. In 2008, at the same time, the number of expected students was 417 students.

"It's the largest class we've had in our history," Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management Mike Post.

Most of the incoming class will be from Maryland (55 percent) with Pennsylvania and New Jersey the next most-popular states. Men will be a minority (42 percent) in this freshman class for what had once been a male-only university. Not surprisingly, 68 percent of the students at the Catholic university identify themselves as Catholics.

Post said recruitment for this class (and any class) is a three-year process of talking to students at schools college fairs, bringing students to the campus to show them around and talking to them about the benefits of Catholic education.

"We put forth an extraordinary effort in recruiting this year to show the great value of a Mount St. Mary's education," Mount President Thomas Powell. "The excellent academic challenge and the generous benefit packages we offer make us a very attractive competitor among Universities in the mid-Atlantic. Our efforts have paid off!"

Though university officials expect the final class size to be smaller, it probably won't be that much smaller. Director of Communications Linda Sherman said that Bicentennial Hall, the dormitory opened last year, and the renovated Terrace Hall will be able to accommodate the influx of new students.

Overall, Mount St. Mary's has around 2,100 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled. The university has tried to build its reputation on "Faith, Discovery, Leadership and Community." The incoming class will have a choice of more than 60 majors, minors and other programs to pursue during their four years at the Mount.

If trends hold true, when these students graduate 98 percent of them will find employment within a year.

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