Class of 2019: Biggest incoming freshmen class in Mason history

by Natalia Kolenko and Ellen Glickman

This past weekend saw the move-in of the largest incoming class of freshmen ever seen in Mason history.

The news of the class of 2019 was first announced in an email sent by President Cabrera over the summer where he reflected on the 2014-2015 academic year.

The email read, “We have come a long way in a very short time, but we have much more ahead. This fall, we expect to welcome the largest freshman class in our history.”

The class of 2019 is 3,291 students strong. In comparison, when Mason first opened its doors to the Fairfax campus in 1964, only 356 students enrolled for classes that fall, according to Mason’s electronic document history website.

Despite the class of 2019 breaking the record for biggest incoming freshmen class, they are just the latest class to do so. According to Mason’s Office of Institutional Research and Reporting, every year since 2011 has seen a record-breaking number of freshmen. The website also said the freshmen class this year had the biggest increase in enrollment from the previous year out of the last 5 years, with a 200 student increase.

The large class will be a big transition for freshman Will Duncan. His high school was more than little smaller than Mason.

“Coming from a high school that consisted of 120 students, [I’m] not quite excited about the massive amounts of people,” Will said.

Will said he attended the New School of Northern Virginia, a small private school in Fairfax. The school has a student to teacher ratio of 6:1, according to its website. The average student to teacher ratio at Mason is 16:1, although for some introductory classes, it can be larger. The New School’s environment was very relaxed, he said.

Will said he came “from a school where you literally know everyone by name, and you can just walk down the sidewalk and be like, ‘Hey John,’ a.k.a. the headmaster. You call teachers by their first names. It was super casual.”

Will said he is not quite ecstatic about the change, but is still looking forward to his time at Mason.

“I know it could be bigger so I’m still happy,” he said.

As the 3,291 freshman moved in on Thursday, move-in volunteers were there to help. Sophomore Olivia Bartley, who lived in President’s Park last year, said she volunteered because she appreciated the help she had during move in.

“It was really encouraging to see a whole bunch of people come and move your stuff out,” Olivia said. “Like, my parents were so happy they didn’t have to move a thing, so I was like, I want to contribute back and hopefully make some other kid really happy to move in.”

Check out a photo gallery above of Freshman Move-In, 2015. All photos by Claire Cecil.