Message from the Dean: Starting the Academic Year with a Full House at Whitman

Dear Alumni and Friends,

The academic year is now in full swing at Whitman with classes having started on August 29. It is always a special feeling to see and hear the energy grow in the building as students enter Whitman for the first time or re-acquaint themselves after having been away over the summer. And there is reason to be especially excited and proud this fall.

We have the largest incoming undergraduate class in the history of Whitman–626 true new first-year students, 82 internal transfers and five transfers from other universities around the world. This eclipses the prior record of 486 true first-year Whitman students from last year.

We have also seen growth in the residential master’s programs. We welcomed 161 new students across the MBA program and six master’s programs. This incoming class is 23 percent larger than Fall 2021 and 40 percent larger than before the pandemic. It represents 19 different countries and six continents (we’re still waiting on Antarctica).

While these numbers won’t become official for a few weeks, our current enrollments are showing Whitman to be a true “full house” this year. Have mercy! (To steal a favorite expression from the “Full House” TV show.)

What’s more impressive about our record-breaking 2022-2023 class size is that we’ve been able to maintain or improve the academic qualifications of the incoming students and attract more students from diverse backgrounds. Final counts will be shared when they become official.

We’re preparing for these large incoming classes with a “fuller house” through the addition of key staff and faculty positions. We have seven new full-time faculty this year, and one specifically connected to the large incoming class size. We’ve added a new assistant teaching professor who will also serve as a fifth House Mentor in our Goodman IMPRESS Program. We’ve also recruited a new IMPRESS Program coordinator. IMPRESS is a critical component of setting Whitman undergraduate students on a path to success and is a significant part of first-year students’ experience with us.

Additionally, we’ve hired a new undergraduate academic advisor and are in the final stages of hiring a new undergraduate career advisor. We’ll also be adding to our IT team to provide ongoing support. These new hires will help ensure that all our students have the support they need throughout their time at Whitman.

Our record numbers reflect Whitman’s significant investments, the efforts of our outstanding recruiting teams, and a tremendous building-wide commitment to excellence—whether it is innovating existing courses, offering new transformational learning experiences, finding ways to better support students academically, helping graduates land impressive jobs, or achieving STEM designation for many of our master’s programs.

It goes without saying that we could not achieve these numbers and successes without the incredible commitment of our alumni and friends. Many of you have directly contributed to making Whitman a business school of choice—and our remarkable rise in undergraduate and MBA rankings—by sharing your professional perspectives, supporting our placement efforts, and making financial gifts that enable innovation and expand student programming. We are grateful for your partnership efforts in pushing Whitman forward.

By all accounts, the semester is off to a resounding start. I know our alumni and friends will help us successfully navigate this record-breaking academic year. I look forward to sharing high points with you in future communications and seeing many of you along the way. If you have a willingness to continue to support Whitman on our upwards trajectory, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

All the best,

Alex McKelvie
Whitman Interim Dean

Alexander McKelvie

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