Class of 2014 Profile

Each year as part of our “Letting Go” session for parents Dr. Mitch Kirsch prepares a profile, a brief summary of our incoming class. I thought I would share that with you all. As always, it is an impressive group.



2,802 applications received for 300 spaces

Enrolling 332 this fall (all but 8 are starting at UP)

46% male; 54% female

80% PA residents; 20% non-PA (representing 15 different states)

Beyond the Numbers:

I am one of those people who had the privilege of reading all the applications to the Schreyer Honors College so I have some additional insight into the background and experiences of this class beyond the numbers.  They are quite an impressive group, and I’d like to give you all a quick snapshot of who they are.

Other Facts

29 Valedictorians

1 set of twins in the class

18 students served as Presidents of their Senior Class in High School

Many members of this class have been very active in life outside of the classroom – let me give you some examples:

General Characteristics

Class Officers

National Honor Society

Musicians:  marching band (drum majors); orchestra; chorus

Participants in school musicals and plays

Eagle Scouts; Girl Scouts

Yearbook and newspaper editors

Young Democrats and Republicans


Homecoming Court


Academic teams

Mock Trial


Robotics Club

Athletes: soccer, lacrosse, track, cross country, bowling, softball, rugby, tennis, swimming, volleyball, football, baseball, ice hockey, baseball, field hockey, fencing, judo, gymnastics, crew, wrestling, water polo, ultimate Frisbee, and triathlon competitors.

A few members of this class will also be competing on Division I teams here at Penn State:  two varsity swimmers, one volleyball player and one member of the track team.

Although these students are just beginning their first year at Penn State, this is not the first time they have spent time on a college campus. Many of them have taken classes, attended conferences, or done research on college campuses around the country.  The list of campuses they have already been on is impressive:

Colleges and Universities

Stanford University Bucknell University

Johns Hopkins Cornell University

University of Texas Brown University

Oxford University Yale University

Rutgers University University of Delaware

University of Missouri Brigham Young University

University of Vermont Ohio State University

Purdue University Villanova University

University of Kentucky Yale University

UCLA University of Maryland

US Military Academy Columbia University

University of Pennsylvania ` Cal Tech

Carnegie Mellon University Princeton University

Part of the mission of the SHC is to “build a global perspective.” We believe strongly in supporting our students to engage in international experiences that will immerse them in a culture different from their own.  Many members of this incoming class have already had this experience, spending significant time in 55 different foreign countries around the world. I won’t read the entire list, but the countries they visited include:

International Travel Experiences

14 students participated in People To People Program

England Italy Spain

Mexico Ireland France

Ecuador Peru India

Hong Kong Switzerland Germany

Egypt Netherlands China

Hungary Greece Belize

Israel Sweden Hungary

Australia Argentina Haiti

Japan South Africa Morocco

Austria Vietnam Brazil

South Korea New Zealand Costa Rica

Thailand Malaysia Nicaragua

Slovakia Pakistan South Africa

Schreyer Scholars actively engage in research and service opportunities throughout their Penn State experience.  Again, members of this incoming class have already distinguished themselves in these areas, acquiring significant experience across a broad range of fields:

Research/internships/Service Experiences

Internship sites included:

Columbia University Center for Human Genetics

The department of neurology at Thomas Jefferson University

Scott Air Force Base Flight Medicine Clinic

Department of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran

Society Hill Veterinary Hospital

Service experiences were also diverse, including:

Navajo Reservation in Arizona

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Volunteer firefighter

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Volunteers with numerous other organizations, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity

Leadership and civic engagement is another part of the mission of the Schreyer Honors College.  Collectively, this class has already demonstrated some strong leadership abilities, in a wide variety of areas:

Leadership Experiences

13 students involved w/ Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Program

National Youth Leadership Forum

West Point summer leaders Seminar at US Military Academy

Congressional Student Leadership conference

Girls State Leadership camp

Attended Naval Academy Summer Seminar

Student Diversity Leadership Conference

FBI Youth Leadership Program

Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference (attended last year’s Presidential inauguration)

Economics for Leaders Program at University of Texas

Rotary Youth Leadership Conference

Camp at Microsoft HQ for girls in technology

And, to give you a little more insight into the diversity in this class of Scholars, let me share a few interesting tidbits about them:

Miscellaneous Characteristics

Ranked among top 100 female chess players

Someone has already applied for a US patent

One member of the PSU Musical Theatre program (credits include performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra)

PA State Grape Queen

Someone can recite the first 500 digits of pi

As you can see, this is an extremely talented incoming class and we are so pleased to welcome them to campus today.  Our goal over the next three days is to take this group of 324 individuals, with their diverse experiences and backgrounds, and help them become a class, a community of Scholars, who will become an integral part of the SHC and Penn State.  They have much to look forward to and much to do but, if the past is any indication, they will excel, succeed, and surpass all of our expectations.