It’s back to school at Purchase College for more than 3,800 students. The campus will welcome approximately 774 freshmen from 36 states and 17 countries. Welcome Days begin Monday, September 3 and classes start on Wednesday, September 5.
Joining them are three Fulbright Scholars: Ekaterina Zharinova from Russia, Enrique Flower from Columbia, South America, and Gozde Yasar from Turkey.
Selectivity continues to increase at Purchase. Over 10,000 students applied to various programs and 2,900 were accepted. Of that number, 5,800 students applied to the Liberal Arts and Sciences program and 2,050 were accepted. Approximately 4,200 applied to the School of the Arts Visual and Performing Arts Programs and 850 students were accepted.
Among the new faculty members is Ms. Zhang Shuangli of Shanghai who will be a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for the academic year. She is a political philosopher from China’s Fudan University.
Mr. Felix Caputo of the Congo will be a Scholar-in-Residence through the Scholars-at-Risk Program. He is an Associate Professor of comparative literature, modern and post-modern literature, mythology, religious literature and gender issues who received his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Lubumbashi.
Dr. Robert Thompson heads the new Arts Management program introduced this fall. The fully subscribed program will train students for careers as professional arts managers for performing and visual arts organizations such as opera companies, galleries and museums, dance companies, concerts, festivals, community arts centers, and record companies. Dr. Thompson has been the CEO of Universal Edition, the world’s fourth largest classical music publisher, has produced multimedia orchestral concerts, has had extensive experience as a concert producer and conductor, and has worked in marketing and development within the orchestral world.
Carol N. Shiffman, the new Dean of the School of the Arts, Conservatory of Dance, has been a practicing dance artist, artistic director of a dance company, executive director of multidisciplinary arts organizations such as Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington, and senior staff for the statewide California Arts Council. She was the founder and artistic director of Momentum, the professional modern dance company of Los Angeles. She joins Purchase from the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington.
A number of improvements were implemented to enhance the quality of life on campus. The Dance building received major renovations. Approximately $6 million was spent to improve new lounge seating areas, replace over 11,000 skylights, install new flooring and finishes, put in ADA accessible doors on the main floor, and improve the exterior sidewalk and landscaping. The 12 Purchase tennis courts were renovated and resurfaced with support from Future Stars, which provides specialty camp programs for families in the area. Two new courts were added along with three new outdoor basketball courts.
Renovations continue on the Library building and new smart classrooms were added to the residence hall Fort Awesome, the Social Sciences building and the Humanities building.
A new feature for students is Zipcars. Purchase is the first SUNY campus to offer them through a pilot program. Zipcars are a car-sharing program in which turnkey-ready cars are available in convenient locations and can be reserved online. Purchase will have two cars available. Another new service is LaundryView in which students can check the status of laundry machines via the web.
This fall Purchase joins the Skyline Athletic Conference, and continues its provisional membership in NCAA Division lll.
Incoming freshmen will once again participate in Learning Communities and Freshmen Interest Groups in which they receive extra guidance from faculty, staff and peer mentors, and find informal ways of studying outside the traditional classroom. As participants they share similar interests and join a community that lasts throughout their undergraduate years. Incoming freshmen were also assigned summer reading. This year’s selection was All God’s Children Need Travelin’ Shoes by Maya Angelou.
In addition to welcome orientation meetings with Deans, Directors and faculty members from the various schools, Welcome Days include a performance of the perennial favorite the Ra Vue show, a dance party on the Plaza and a Wellness Carnival.