Class of 2008: What I Did on My Summer Vacation
Contest winner Kenneth B. Johnson ’08
placed his pennant atop the MIT Dome.
Rensselaer’s newest students, the Class of 2008, were given
a fun assignment even before they arrived on campus. The
first-year students were challenged to use their creativity to
take a photo of themselves — with a Rensselaer red pennant —
doing something this summer.
All the photos were displayed in the Admissions Office and the
top 10 finalists were voted on by fellow students during the
“Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond” events held the week
before classes started.
“This year, Rensselaer has enrolled one of the most talented
classes in history,” says Teresa Duffy, dean of enrollment
management. “With average SAT scores of 1321 and 63 percent in
the top 10 percent of their high school classes, the Class of
2008 arrives with tremendous skills and expectations for rigor
and excitement in their college experience. And this year, for
another first, 26 percent of the class won the Rensselaer Medal
in their high school — the largest percentage ever in the
The Class of 2008 encompasses students from 11 countries other
than the United States; students hail from 37 U.S. states and
Academically, the class boasts 56 high school valedictorians
and 42 salutatorians. Four students had a perfect 1600 on the
SAT; 69 scored a perfect 800 on the math portion, while 19
scored a perfect 800 on the verbal section.
The interests of the students are as varied as their
backgrounds. One student is a beekeeper and a botanist and
studies and practices medieval fencing; another spends her
early mornings exercising thoroughbreds at the Saratoga
Racetrack. One student won the George Harrison Invitational
Grade Drumming Championship, while another plans and executes a
concert called “Emancipation Rocklamation” which raises funds
to fight slavery in the Sudan. One student has designed
computer games with people on virtual teams who hail from as
many as a dozen different countries, while yet another student
did a project on crystal growth that was selected by NASA to
accompany the astronauts on the next shuttle mission.
Originally published in
Rensselaer Magazine, Fall 2004