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President, Mayor and Faculty Ready Class of 2014 for Academic Success

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Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150



Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, UAlbany President George M. Philip and new students at UAlbany

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and UAlbany President George M. Philip greet new students at the University's "Explore UAlbany" program.

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 27, 2010) -- University at Albany President George M. Philip, B.A. '69, M.A. '73 and Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings, M.S. '76, joined several faculty members to welcome the Class of 2014 and ready them for collegiate achievement.

The 2,250 incoming freshman at UAlbany attended a variety of sessions designed to connect them with faculty members and to preview the world of research and scholarly opportunities available through the University's nine schools and colleges. This "dress rehearsal for success" billed as the "Explore UAlbany" program was held as part of the University's Opening Weekend events.

"Today’s program is part of our Great Beginnings activities," said President Philip. "We want our incoming freshmen, the newest members of the UAlbany family, to engage with our faculty from day one. This will help them get off on the right foot and chart a successful academic journey."

"We want to set the expectation that our new students are going to be learning incredible things from amazing faculty," said Linda Krzykowski, assistant vice provost for Student Engagement.

The Founding Fathers meet Grand Theft Auto

Among the topics covered by faculty in mini-lectures were "The Founding Fathers Meet Grand Theft Auto," with Distinguished Teaching Professor of Criminal Justice James Acker asking: Do minors have a constitutional right to rent or purchase violent video games?

"What's a Nice Philosopher Like You Doing in a Field Like Bioethics?" featured Professor of Philosophy Bonnie Steinbock asking how philosophical pursuit applies to controversial topics such as abortion, assisted suicide, and stem cell research.

Chair of Africana Studies Marcia Sutherland and Associate Professor Oscar Williams asked students to explore how individuals respond when meeting others from different ethnic backgrounds in "Virtual and Actual Social Identities."

Krzykowski said that forging relationships with professors may lead students to other opportunities, such as conducting research or receiving a recommendation for graduate school.

"Explore UAlbany" is "designed to be a linchpin for students as they start off…a key guide to get them through their four years," said Krzykowski. The program enhances UAlbany's strategic plans for retaining and graduating students at a rate 7-10 percentage points higher than the national average for public research universities.

Freshmen in top 10 percent of their class

Academically, the freshman class is highly accomplished. Nearly one-quarter of the group of 2,250 students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. The undergraduates enter UAlbany from a pool of 21,967 applicants, with an average high school grade of 91 and an admission rate of 47 percent. Just over 200 freshmen are enrolled as Presidential Scholars, including 14 Frederick Douglass Scholars, while the Honors College enrolled 117 students. The class is one of the most diverse to enroll at the University with 36 percent minority students.

For the fall, UAlbany will enroll approximately 13,000 undergraduates and 4,900 graduate students.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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