As university President William R. Brody and wife Wendy zipped from residence hall to residence hall on their bikes, the Class of 2010 descended on the Homewood campus on September 1 and 2.
The Brodys greeted the largest incoming class that Homewood has ever seen. Of the 1,219 students enrolled in the freshman class, 63 percent will pursue their studies in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; the remaining 37 percent are enrolled in the Whiting School of Engineering.
The Class of 2010 was selected from a record-breaking applicant pool, according to John Latting, director of undergraduate admissions. Some 13,863 students applied to the Homewood Schools, an increase of 52 percent since 2001—the largest gain of any of Hopkins’ peer institutions, Latting says. Just 27 percent of those who applied were admitted, making this one of the most competitive years ever. The class includes 173 underrepresented minority students, and 73 students hail from outside the United States.
The median SAT I combined score for the class is 1390, and the median high school class rank is the 95th percentile.
As the freshmen unpacked, and their parents headed back home in emptied minivans, 618 upperclassmen made Hopkins history on September 3 and 4 when they moved into the just-completed Charles Commons. The two-building complex in the heart of Charles Village is a first step toward guaranteeing that all juniors and seniors who want university housing can get it.
The students who reside in the new buildings, along 33rd Street between Charles and St. Paul Street, enjoy an innovative living space with high-tech conveniences. With “eSuds,” for instance, students can be pinged on their inboxes when a washing machine is available and again when their whites have stopped spinning. The new dining hall, “3rd on 33rd,” offers food stations including Passport (international foods) and the Hearth (Old World favorites). With its pool tables, fireplace, and late night hours, “3rd on 33rd” is expected to become a student union of sorts—a place for students to meet and unwind over coffee and munchies. Other amenities include a fitness center, game room, music practice rooms, lounge areas, group study rooms, and a community kitchen.
Residing with the students is assistant professor Amy Lynne Shelton and her family—husband Matt Lindsey and 13-month-old son, Ryan. Shelton was selected from a sizeable number of people who applied to be the first Charles Commons Faculty Fellow. Shelton, a researcher in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and her family will live in her rent-free apartment for at least two years. She is eager to reach out to her student neighbors, she says, through movie nights, impromptu music jams (she plays the flute), cooking demonstrations, and group dinners. Shelton is being assisted by next-door neighbor Kourtney Bennett, the graduate assistant for Charles Commons, who is a graduate student at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Charles Commons will also offer a big draw to the community. The Barnes & Noble Bookstore, with its entrance on the corner of 33rd and St. Paul streets, is set to open October 23, according to David McDonough, senior director of development oversight for Johns Hopkins Real Estate. The two-story space will feature general retail services on the main floor, books, a coffee bar serving Starbucks coffee, magazines, and Johns Hopkins paraphernalia. The second floor will be dedicated to textbooks for Homewood courses.
When it opens, it’s likely that the bookstore will be the highlight of what Charles Commons represents to the administration—as Krieger School Dean Adam Falk put it, “the integration of students and student life into the fabric of the Charles Village community.”
Says Falk, “We’ve been working to get students to see themselves as neighbors, and they’ve been very responsive. We want them to see Charles Village as an extension of campus and for the residents to see Johns Hopkins as part of their neighborhood.”