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UD Marks New Academic Year with Strong Enrollment, Residential Life Updates

Irving, TX (Aug. 29, 2022) -- The University of Dallas welcomed the 421 members of Class of 2026 to campus last week, the second largest incoming class in its 66-year history. About 49% come from outside of Texas, representing 38 states and 270 cities, and international students from as far away as Vietnam. In addition to the freshman class, the university welcomed over 40 students who transferred to UD at various levels of undergraduate study.

Other interesting facts about the Class of 2026:

●     Of those who submitted standardized test scores, the average SAT is 1269 and the average ACT is 26;

●     The average GPA is 3.8;

●     70% describe themselves as Catholic (note that students are not required to list their religion);

●     42% are male and 58% are female;

●     The most popular anticipated majors are business, followed by biology;

●     18% of students are ‘first generation’ students, or the first in their families to attend college and 15% are bilingual;

●     41% describe themselves as minority students (note that students are not required to list ethnicity);

●     28% are student athletes;

●     The most popular woman’s name is Isabella / Isabelle / Isabel; the most popular man’s name is Joseph.

“We welcomed our largest freshman class last year, and are heartened to see the trend continue this year with our second largest class,” said Executive Vice President John Plotts, who oversees enrollment. “It’s a strong indication that young people continue to be drawn to our distinctive approach to a liberal arts education, our embrace of the Western and Catholic intellectual tradition and emphasis on the formation of the whole person, intellectually, spiritually, and physically.”

Additionally, over the summer, two residence halls were renovated and freshman dorms were restructured. Dorms on the east side of campus (Catherine, Theresa, Madonna, and O’Connell) now house all women, while Gregory and Jerome, which had recently housed women, are now all-male dorms. Augustine, on the west side of campus and which had previously held faculty offices on the first floor, was converted to an all-women residence hall.  At various times in the past, several of the dorms had housed different sexes, and some had been split by sex between first and second floors.

Dean of Students Dr. Greg Roper said, “It’s really a back-to-the-future move, since, as the dorms’ names indicate, having males on the west and females in the east dorms was the original configuration. Additionally, it recognizes the complementarity of the sexes, a key feature of Catholic anthropology. From a practical standpoint, organizing these spaces by sex makes it easier for our student affairs staff to plan programming throughout the year tailored to those residents.”

Residential life is a vital component of the student experience, and the recent dorm updates are but the beginning steps towards President Jonathan J. Sanford’s vision to move toward building new residence halls and reconfiguring remaining ones organized under a ‘house system,’ which will include more gathering spaces for students to build community, including chapels, and living quarters for married faculty and staff to serve in mentoring roles within the new residence halls.

“Moving toward a house system for residential life is aimed at building upon the already tight sense of community that makes UD special,” Sanford said. “We hope to move forward with this vision for residential life as we develop our master plan for a number of major campus improvements over the coming years.”

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