Students in the upper classes returned to campus this week joining first-year students, and first classes are Wednesday, Sept. 5. Orientation events for the Class of 2016 ends Sept. 4.

The Class of 2016 arrives in Colby’s bicentennial year, and the bicentennial theme “In Their Footsteps” guided their orientation. In their first days on campus, students met with faculty members and classmates for an overview of the liberal arts, keys to academic success, and role of service in the Colby experience. Then they headed for COOT, outdoor adventure trips including backpacking, canoeing, and service projects, where they build the social networks they need to transition to living and learning on campus.

Drawing from a record 5,241 applications this year, the final Class of 2016 count includes 500 first-year students. Of those, 55 percent are female and 45 percent are male. Incoming students represent 32 states and 29 countries, with 12 percent hailing from Maine and 51 percent from outside New England. First-year students of color total 103, 20.6 percent of the class.

“By all the standard measurements of quality, this is an impressive incoming class,” said President William D. Adams, citing students’ academic and extracurricular achievements. “It’s exciting to welcome such a capable and diverse class to the Colby community.”

After first-year orientation ends, fall semester classes officially convene Sept. 5. For more information, view the full Orientation Schedule 2012 or check out our Ready for Colby photo album on Facebook to see students’ move-in day photos.