UAlbany Welcomes New Great Danes for Fall 2023 Semester

Albany, N.Y. (Aug. 22, 2023) — The University at Albany is welcoming students back to campus this week for the start of the Fall 2023 semester, including more than 5,300 new Great Danes.  

Approximately 2,865 first-year students, from more than 30,745 applicants, are joining UAlbany’s Class of 2027. In addition, approximately 875 transfer students and 1,600 new graduate students join the campus community this fall. 

The Class of 2027 is one of the most diverse in University history with 54.1 percent of students coming from historically underrepresented groups.   

More quick facts on the Class of 2027: 

  • The class boasts an overall high school average of 90 percent 
  • 275 students are joining the University’s Honors College 
  • 250 students are enrolled as Presidential Scholars 
  • 550 students are from the Capital Region 
  • Students come from 22 states and 23 countries 

Last week, the new Great Danes moved into their residence halls and campus apartments, followed by a three-day Welcome Week orientation during which they engaged in various activities and workshops with their peers.  

All first-year students took part in a community service activity through UAlbany’s “17 Rooms of Service,” a partnership between the Office of Sustainability and the Center for Leadership and Service to support various community agencies and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Welcome Week was highlighted by traditional events that introduce new students to the campus community, including the Candlelighting Ceremony on Wednesday, followed by a movie under the stars, and the Opening Convocation on Friday at the University Entry Plaza. 

While Commencement marks the completion of study, Opening Convocation celebrates a student's entry into higher education. The 30-minute ceremony on Friday included remarks from President Rodríguez, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol Kim, Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis, Torch Professor Ray Van Ness and student speaker Autumn Ladd. 

President Rodríguez encouraged students to think of their UAlbany journey as a book — with Convocation beginning the first chapter. 

“A key part of our mission is to help you become the authors of your success,” Rodríguez said during his remarks. “Getting to the finish line is going to take hard work, patience, perseverance, and institutional support… When you feel that you need our support, please reach out. We are here for you. 

“I can promise you that everyone on this stage — and our faculty and staff — are committed to your success. We can’t wait to see how you are going to unleash your greatness on the world as you become engaged global citizens.” 

Friday’s ceremony concluded with new students taking a class photo, forming into a giant “A” in Collins Circle, followed by the President’s Picnic. 

Along with new student faces, 40 new full-time faculty are also joining the campus community this fall.

Explore these galleries for more photos from Convocation, Candlelighting, and Great DANEtopia.

Photos: Brian Busher, Patrick Dodson