MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The fall semester at Middlebury College will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 16, with 595 new first-year students on campus and a total enrollment, including students studying abroad, of 2,737 undergraduates.

The first-year students, selected from a field of 8,892 applicants last spring, are organized at Middlebury into five “Commons,” or living and learning communities that combine the academic, social, and residential components of college life. The members of the Class of 2019 moved in on Sept. 8 and have been experiencing a week of orientation leading up to the start of classes.

The members of the incoming class will gather in Mead Chapel on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m. for Convocation.

Susan Baldridge, provost, and Greg Buckles, dean of admissions, will welcome the new students, and President Laurie L. Patton will deliver the Convocation Address. In keeping with the Middlebury tradition, the faculty heads of Commons will present the new students to the president, and Andrea Lloyd, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty, will present the faculty to the students. Also at Convocation, Ilana Gratch ’16.5, president of the Student Government Association, will address the Class of 2019.

The members of the first-year class represent 39 states, with the largest number of new students coming from New York followed by California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont. There are also 31 foreign countries represented in the class with the most international students coming from China followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.

Every incoming Middlebury student selects three elective courses and a first-year seminar – a writing-intensive, discussion-oriented class of 15 or fewer students that is taught by a faculty member who also serves as the students’ adviser until midway through the sophomore year. Among the 43 first-year seminars offered in 2015 are: Language and Ethnic Identity, Felini and the Art of Cinema, The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Acoustic Ecology, and The Philosophy of Human Rights.

– Video by Ben Savard ‘14 and photo by Todd Balfour