August 25, 2008
Tropical Storm Fay’s slow, unpredictable and encompassing trek across the state of Florida caused almost daily rescheduling of events for this year’s incoming Rollins students. While “Fickle Fay” caused some delay, she did not dampen the spirits of the Class of 2012 and transfer students.
Gathered in the Alfond Sports Center on Thursday, August 21, the incoming students enjoyed Convocation with all its traditional pomp and circumstance. There was, however, some not-so-traditional pageantry when Provost Roger Casey welcomed the students to Rollins by rapping lyrics from the Black-Eyed Peas:
“In this context, there's no disrespect,
So, when I bust my rhyme, you break your necks.
We got five minutes for us to disconnect,
from all intellect collect the rhythm effect.
Remove your inhibition; follow your intuition,
free your inner soul and break away from tradition.
Everybody. Everybody. Let’s get into it.
Let’s get it started in here.”
“Let’s get it started in here!” said Casey as the audience cheered. Casey offered a variety of advice gained from 22 years of teaching college students and quoted other modern day "philosophers" including Eric Theodore Cartman from the University of South Park, Colorado, and Marshall Mathers, performing artist Eminem.
“What a privilege it is to teach you,” Casey said in closing. “But what an even greater privilege it is to learn from you. I look forward to four years of that opportunity, men and women of Rollins College. Teach me something.”
Rob Moore, Class of 2010 and chair of the Academic Honor Council for the 2008-09 school year also welcomed the students, who together signed the Academic Honor Code.
“What is honor?” asked Moore. “It is standing up as a member of Rollins, but more importantly standing up as you, and embracing the opportunity to become a man or woman of integrity. This is not always simple and never easy, but those charged with protecting our world and educating the future generations are not worried with what is simple or easy. We must only be worried about missing the opportunity to become incredible. So welcome class of 2012, to the Rollins family. And please, I beg of you, embrace who you are, and enter yourself head first into this community. Ground yourself in the personal and academic integrity which will unite us. Become a part of the change which is taking over this campus. We have the opportunity to be extraordinary. So let’s join together and rise to that occasion.”
Before formally matriculating new students and declaring the College in session for the 2008-09 academic year, Rollins President Lewis Duncan counseled: "Find your purpose, find your place and find your future among us. Accept the challenges and the opportunities of your days and years here in your own personal pursuit of an education emphasizing global citizenship and responsible leadership."
Rollins’ College of Arts & Sciences began the school year with a projected 1,750 students. Applications for undergraduate admission to Rollins have increased more than 83 percent since 2000, which represents a 20 percent increase over last year.
Here are some interesting facts about the incoming class:
• Projected 470 incoming first-year students and 65 transfer students
• Incoming students were accepted from a pool of 3,500 applications (Rollins received the most applications in its history)
• Rollins had an acceptance rate this year of 53 percent
• SAT average is highest in College’s history and more than 100 points higher than 10 years ago
• Incoming class represents 350 high schools from 33 states and 19 foreign countries (42 percent of class is from Florida)
• This is the fourth year the College has offered full-paid Rollins Cornell Scholarships (there are nine recipients)
• This is the first class admitted under the Test Score Waived Option