Class of 2017 surpasses ’16 as largest in history

By Adam Kelly | The Duquesne Duke

This year’s incoming freshman class is the largest in Duquesne’s history, surpassing last year’s mark by 24 students.

The class of 2017, which moved in on Tuesday, is estimated at over 1,550 students, according to Debbie Zugates, director of undergraduate admissions. The class of 2016 had 1,526 incoming students.

Although Zugates said the exact number will not be available until September, this year’s class is “definitely” larger than last year’s.

Not only is this class the largest, but it is one of the most academically prepared. The estimated mean SAT score (math and reading) of the incoming students is 1137, which is the third highest in the school’s history, according to Kelley Maloney, director of marketing and communications.

The highest, 1141, was in 2011. Last year’s average score, 1139, is the second highest.

Many of the students in the class of 2017 had Duquesne at the top of their list when applying for colleges. In a survey conducted by admissions, 96 percent of incoming students said Duquesne was their first or second college choice, according to Zugates.

“We really provide students with everything they want,” Zugates said.

Zugates said she believes students chose Duquesne because of its urban location, size, academic reputation and distance from home. Incoming students also chose Duquesne because it is a private institution, Zugates said.

Maloney added that Duquesne is “the right fit for people.”

“We have all the programs a student could ask for along with the ability to utilize internship opportunities,” Maloney said.

According to Maloney, approximately 92 percent of these incoming freshmen are living on campus, although this number is subject to change as students change their minds.

Brian Bost, director of this year’s orientation program, is confident that students will get comfortable and not change their mind about Duquesne.

“We really provide students with everything they want.”

Debbie Zugates

Bost said he is excited about how the class of 2017 has already gotten involved.

“They are actively asking about the program,” Bost said. “That means that they are already getting across the message we are trying to convey.”

This year’s orientation theme, “Branching Out,” embodies the idea that getting involved is important, and that every second at Duquesne is an opportunity that should not be wasted, Bost said.

According to Bost, because the orientation program is run by students, it is easier to relate to them. Administration is not in charge of it. Instead, it’s former freshmen that welcome the incoming freshmen. In fact, Bost is a history major in his junior year.

“I’m excited to see how the program my staff and I put together affects the students,” Bost said. “I want to see if the students will carry out our message throughout college.”