NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma today welcomed the largest and academically highest-ranked freshman class in its history at New Sooner Convocation with approximately 4,500 first-year students and their families. The event was held at the Lloyd Noble Center and included welcoming remarks from student body president J.D. Baker.
This year’s freshman class was selected from more than 17,000 applicants, which is a university record. The class includes a record-breaking 314 National Merit Scholars, on track to rank OU first in the nation in freshman scholars enrolled. Marking the highest average GPA in OU history, one out of every nine freshmen came to OU with a perfect 4.0 grade point average from high school. The incoming class also includes more minority students than ever before.
In his keynote address, OU President David L. Boren urged the freshmen to have the courage to hang on to their dreams and to find a purpose larger than themselves in which to invest their lives.
“It is not what we do for ourselves that gives meaning to our lives but what we do for others,” Boren said.
Boren urged the convocation audience to fight for adequate funding for education. “As the state’s share of funding OU student educational costs has fallen from almost half to only 12 percent in three decades, the bill for the difference is sent to students and parents,” he said.
“We must keep the doors of opportunity open to all students without regard to their economic circumstances,” Boren said. “We cannot afford to waste the talent of the next generation.”
As freshmen move in, upper-class students are also moving into the first on-campus residences for continuing students. OU’s new Headington and Dunham Residential Colleges will provide a special living and learning environment for students.