Goodbye Judy, Hello Jasmine — and a New Academic Year

September 12, 2012

The Class of 2016 brings to Mary Baldwin University nine Jasmines, but no Janes, Judys, or Barbaras. They are diverse. And their numbers have helped push Mary Baldwin’s overall enrollment to a new all-time record.

With a full week of classes already underway, the Registrar’s Office has released statistics that reveal a snapshot of the freshman class and the ever-changing face of the Mary Baldwin student body.

students during move-in week

While the size of this year’s freshman class does not break first-year enrollment records, it helped push the college’s overall enrollment to 2,356 — up 14 students from the previous year and a new record. Adding to the mix is Baldwin Online and Adult Programs enrollment that stands steady at 1,273. On the graduate level, Shakespeare and Performance reports 50 students seeking their MLitt and/or MFA degrees and Graduate Teacher Education enrollment is 11 percent higher than 2011–12, with 241 students.

The makeup of the undergraduate student body has not significantly changed. Of the 792 students, 64 students are enrolled in the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. One hundred nine, meanwhile, are in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership.

According to the Registrar, this year, applicants represented all 50 states. Those who enrolled hail from 28 states — most from Virginia, then Maryland — and 11 foreign countries. They come from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

More than two-thirds of freshmen have one-of-a-kind first names. There are no Janes, Judys, or Barbaras and only one each of Jennifer, Jessica, Michelle, Marilyn, and Mary (though there are other versions of Mary, like Mariah and Maria). The most common name is Jasmine, followed by Sarah, Kayla, Amanda, Stephanie, and Elizabeth. Names that begin with “K” are also popular with the Class of 2016, including Kayla, Kaylyn, Kaitlyn, not to mention Kelli, Kathleen, Kendra, and Kristi.

According to this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, the lives of these freshmen “have been measured in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds” so it makes sense to examine their email addresses for more insight. According to the Registrar, by far the most common email address is simply a version of names with numbers. Several students tell something about their families, such as numbers of kids or pets. Many note their interests, the top one being horses. They mention dogs, cats, softball, horseshoes, anime, animals, writing, dance, photography, nature, and ecology. And the most popular carriers? Gmail and Yahoo.

And how about faculty? There is only one full-time hire for the year: Joseph Johnson, visiting assistant professor of mathematics. New adjunct faculty for 2012–13 are Veronica Gutierrez (Spanish), Clayton Brooks (history), Jeremy West (fencing instructor and advisor), Jenny Lounsbur (chemistry), Melinda Peters (biology), Madeline Abel-Kerns (music and director of Bella Voce), and Nina Barzachka (political science), Timothy Jonathan Bayer (mathematics), and Doreen L. Williams (education).