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UAlbany Kicks off 'Great Beginnings' as Students Ready for Fall Semester
President Hall joined by deans, faculty and senior administrators in welcoming students to campus

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 26, 2005) -- University at Albany President Kermit L. Hall joined with faculty and administrators in welcoming students back to campus for the start of the fall 2005 semester. With the focus on improving the undergraduate experience, the University celebrated with the theme of 'Great Beginnings.' Building on the renewed school unity showcased at Fountain Day 2005, Hall once again enlisted the Faculty Senate, deans and administrators in greeting incoming freshmen at State Quad as well as returning and transfer students across the University.

Enrollment is up since 2004 as a higher number of students than anticipated accepted the University's offer of admission as compared to previous years. Approximately 2,550 freshman will begin classes this semester, up from 2,080 in 2004. The number of transfer students entering the University is estimated at 1,400, up from 1,150 a year ago.

"Academics come first at the University at Albany, and the word is getting around," said Hall. "Our higher student yields demonstrate that the efforts of the University faculty and staff to improve and enhance the undergraduate experience are paying off. Students are showing a renewed interest in Albany." Ninety percent (2,353 students) of the incoming class have either a high school average of 85 or better or an SAT of 1,100 or better.

To meet the needs of a larger student body, the University has added high-demand General Education courses and has expanded housing accommodations and services to make room for students who missed registration deadlines. A sustained enrollment level will also allow the University the necessary flexibility to hire more full-time faculty, and improve the undergraduate experience.

As students return this fall, laptop users will be able to enjoy the weather on the podium and connect to the UAlbany network thanks to significant expansion of wireless internet service on campus. The expansion makes wireless access available from the outdoor sections of the podium, all of the campus center as well as all libraries on both the uptown and downtown campuses.

Students will also have the opportunity to take classes in nationally-ranked programs in Africana Studies, counseling psychology or from the No. 2-ranked School of Criminal Justice. UAlbany also has nationally-renowned programs in nanotechnology, social welfare, information and technology management, library science, reading, accounting and atmospheric sciences. Student athletes will look to duplicate their achievement of finishing in the top-40 academically out of 325 universities competing in Division I athletics.

The semester also holds in store for students an array of cultural and athletic experiences when filmmaker and social activist Spike Lee, director of such critically-acclaimed hits Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, the latter of which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, comes to campus. Lee will join several other important figures such as U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist John Darton, as part of the New York State Writers Institute lecture series.

On Saturday evening, freshmen will take part in UAlbany's traditional candle lighting ceremony, symbolizing the beginning of their collegiate career in accepting the University flame of knowledge. Later in the semester, students from across the University will take part in another UAlbany tradition, the annual "Clash of the Quads" competition, pitting each of the housing communities against each other in various fun and challenging activities. To wrap up 2005, students will flock to the Pepsi Arena in Albany on December 3 to see if the University at Albany men's basketball team can repeat their victory over crosstown rival Siena College from one year ago.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 16,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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