Class of 2015 profile: Diverse for a purpose

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By Caleb Novins

Diversity is a word that you tend to hear a lot in college admissions buildings.

Union is no exception, considering that the class of 2015 includes students from not only all over the United States but also 12 different countries around the world, including China, Japan, Serbia, Bolivia, Honduras, Korea, Paraguay and Vietnam.

In fact, 30 students in the freshman class are international students, constituting about five percent of the whole class, and 17 students have a dual citizenship of some sort.

But is the concept of diversity merely portrayed by statistics?  Coordinator of International Admissions Mary Vellines does not think so.

“The typical way to describe international diversity is by country of citizenship,” she explained in an email. “But it is more than that. For example, a U.S. citizen who has lived abroad for his/her life brings a different perspective to campus, but is not officially considered international for statistical purposes. Diversity includes different perspectives, religions, economic backgrounds and experiences. It is more than just a different citizenship.”

Vellines describes diversity within the senior class as a tool to foster innovation. The object is not to garner as many students from as many different countries as possible, but rather to gather as many ideas as possible.

Indeed, when I last spoke to Vellines she was in India, already recruiting students for the next freshman class.

The class of 2015 includes the largest number of international students to come to Union yet. It is part of a greater focus on attracting students from across the globe to come to Union and add a different perspective.

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