UAB Honors College welcomes largest incoming freshman class

The Honors College welcomed 375 incoming freshmen from 21 states and the U.K. The students’ average GPA is 41 and average ACT is 30.

honors graphic wThe University of Alabama at BirminghamHonors College welcomed its largest-ever incoming class of freshmen this week, 375 students from 21 states and the United Kingdom.

Students arrived early to campus last week for an Honors Freshman Retreat to explore the city of Birmingham, complete community service projects, and get to know themselves and one another better, says inaugural Honors College Dean Shannon Blanton, Ph.D. This is her first class of UAB honors students.

“These students are very impressive,” Blanton said. “Their average GPA is 4.1 and average ACT is 30. Better yet, they’re poised to make an impact all over campus. Our freshmen have declared 62 majors in all seven undergraduate schools and colleges.”

Of the incoming 375 freshmen, 18 percent are first-generation college students and 22 percent are from out of state. The class also includes 10 scholar-athletes who will play for UAB’s soccer, men’s tennis, softball, baseball, volleyball and women’s cross country teams.

The freshmen attended a Birmingham Barons baseball game at Regions Field on their first night in town. In keeping with the retreat theme of “Welcome to the Magic City,” the students used BACHE Cultural Passports to embark on a half-day of exploration. They participated in service projects with community partners including Glen Iris Elementary School, Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity, Peer Inc., and Children’s of Alabama.

With more than 1,100 students, the UAB Honors College offers small class sizes, intensive academic advising and endless opportunities for academic enrichment. Honors College students pursue majors in all undergraduate divisions, hold leadership positions across campus, and volunteer and serve in the Birmingham community and around the world.
At the retreat’s closing ceremony, Blanton challenged students to take full advantage of the experiential learning opportunities available to them within the university, such as undergraduate research, service learning, study away and internships. She urged students to reach their full academic potential through continuous hard work and determination. Associate Professor of Chemistry Joe March, Ph.D., issued a similar charge: He encouraged students to meet their faculty, try to understand how each discipline offers a new perspective, foster their love of learning, dream while awake and make time to reflect on their own ways of thinking.

Honors sophomore Ben McCafferty shared words of wisdom with the new students. He spoke of the intimacy of the UAB Honors College community as a place where he encountered other academically ambitious students who have become some of his closest friends.

“I would tell you I found a group of like-minded individuals, but that would be a lie,” McCafferty said. “I found a diversity in thought, body, religion, color and culture that is refreshing because everyone truly brings a completely different perspective to the table.”

This emphasis on community among diverse, highly motivated students is a hallmark of the Honors College.

“We are very excited to welcome our students to campus for the new academic year,” said Blanton. “We anticipate a challenging and engaging year, featuring an array of enriching activities to complement the classroom experience.”

With more than 1,100 students, the UAB Honors College offers small class sizes, intensive academic advising and endless opportunities for academic enrichment. Honors College students pursue majors in all undergraduate divisions, hold leadership positions across campus, and volunteer and serve in the Birmingham community and around the world. Keep up with the UAB Honors College via Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram @honorsuab.  

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