This fall, Gonzaga University’s campus will be filled with the bright and shining faces of the class of 2023.
The incoming class will be one of GU’s largest with 1,254 first-year students and 103 transfer students, making it among the five largest classes to register at the university.
“We enrolled another phenomenal class coming into Gonzaga this year and we’re really excited about them,” said Erin Hayes, director of undergraduate admissions.
Academically this class is one of the strongest incoming classes with a cumulative GPA of 3.83.
The class members were also heavily involved in their respective schools with 15 student body presidents, 260 members of student government, 86 class presidents, 18 mock trial participants, 25 on yearbook staff and 59 involved in their student newspaper.
The interest in extracurricular activities is also strong with 272 incoming musicians, 40 Boy Scouts, 17 Girl Scouts and 102 people who were in debate.
“I took a tour at Gonzaga and I didn’t feel like a number; I felt like a person. The atmosphere was willing and open, and I really liked that,” said Madison Miller, an incoming first year student from Sprague, Washington. “Coming from a small school there’s only so much to do.”
In small graduating classes like Miller’s, she said most people are involved in more than one activity within the school, whether it be Associated Student Body, The FFA Association or something else.
“During the summer I help with the summer reading program helping elementary and middle school kids,” she said. “I hope to continue this at Gonzaga — I love leading.”
An overwhelming percentage of the class has participated in athletics with 1,069 of them showing an interest in sports.
While admissions does not have the exact data, Hayes also said that just about every incoming student has been involved with volunteering and community service.
“They are very engaged in the world around them,” Hayes said. “Just like other classes, the Gonzaga unifying qualities of these students are commitment to service and caring of others. They are also really active and care for leadership and have a real passion for growth and learning.”
The most popular major is undeclared business — which includes business administration and accounting — followed by biology and nursing. As of right now, 8% of the class is undeclared.
This class remains consistent with other years in terms of diversity with 27% of the class being students of color. In terms of gender, 52% of students identify as female, 47% as male and 1% as nonbinary. There are also 25 religions represented.
One statistic that is up from previous years is international students. There were five in 2017 and 2018, but this year there will be 19 first-year international students and five transfers. Vietnam has the most incoming students followed by China and Ecuador.
“International students appreciate our personal touch,” said Stashia Kaiel, assistant director of international admission. “Our community continues to make us distinctive to all students no matter where they are from.”
Kaiel also said that having international athletes like Rui Hachimura increases GU’s international branding, especially in an athlete’s home country.
Much like other years, the majority of the class is from Washington followed by California, Oregon, Colorado with Idaho and Arizona tied for fifth place. However, 37 other states and Puerto Rico are represented in the class of 2023.
Also, 99% of incoming students have financial aid.
According to Jim White, dean of student financial services, approximately 88% of students applied for need-based aid. While 65% of the incoming class have need-based aid, 35% have merit-based aid.
“I’m excited to meet so many new people because in Sprague you interact with the same 20 to 30 people a day and they’re like my family. I’m excited to [come to GU] and keep building my family,” Miller said.
Hayes said this class’s potential, much like all the classes before them, is great and she knows they’ll do amazing things.
“It’ such a joy to meet students in high school and witness their continued transformation on this campus,” Hayes said. “This is a special class. Every class has their own special unique quality that they develop while they’re here, so we’re excited to see what they do.”