Class of 2024 Brings Unique Talents to Rensselaer in Unprecedented Times

September 10, 2020

Class of 2024 Brings Unique Talents to Rensselaer in Unprecedented Times

With a range of backgrounds, first-year students preparing to change the world

Members of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Class of 2024, who recently began their first year of higher education in the midst of a pandemic, bring a wide range of expertise and experience to the campus.

“In a world dealing with a variety of pressing challenges, it is exciting to know that exceptional young minds continue to come to Rensselaer to hone their skills, discover new talents, and prepare to change the world,” said Jonathan Wexler, vice president of enrollment management. “Rensselaer has embraced the vision of The New Polytechnic, which acknowledges that the greatest problems facing our world cannot be solved by a single person or discipline alone, and this clearly resonates with students.”

The Class of 2024 is made up of high achievers. Members of the class have summited Mount Kilimanjaro, played in Carnegie Hall, designed their own video games, and become the youngest nationally certified search personnel in the National Association for Search and Rescue.

They are inventive, having developed treatments for paronychia, solar-powered water desalinization backpacks for refugees, a mobile phone amplifier, technology to prevent parents from leaving kids in their cars, and even an artificial intelligence-enabled toilet for cats.

They are self-starters. One student created a nonprofit organization that holds traveling clinics to provide health care to the underserved. Another started a club at their high school that provided students a platform to give TED-style lectures. A third — a beekeeper who maintains four hives of his own – spends his summers teaching beekeeping techniques to farmers to help them optimize their crops.

These qualities will serve the Class of 2024 well as they navigate the unprecedented circumstances that mark the beginning of their collegiate career. After moving into their dorms in August and quarantining for two weeks, first-year students began in-person instruction this week.

Courses at Rensselaer are currently being provided both on campus and online. For more information about the campus return-to-campus plan, please visit For information regarding Rensselaer Admissions, visit


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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit