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Butler University welcomes most racially diverse freshman class this school year

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Posted at 6:58 AM, Aug 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-23 06:58:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Back to school for colleges and universities here in Central Indiana continues this week, as Butler University students return to the classroom Wednesday.

This year, 600 Hoosiers are joining the university’s freshman class — the most in its 168-year history.

The 2023 freshman class is also Butler’s most racially diverse.

22% identify as students of color.

For brothers Jacob and Alex Knarr, being a Bulldog is a family affair.

“I really love the small feel of the classrooms. You got a lot more attention from your professors," Alex Knarr said.

Alex is a junior accounting and finance major.

He’s doing his best to show his little brother the ropes as he starts his first year of college.

“Join as much stuff as you can. I think it’s good making a lot of friends. Butler is small so there’s a lot of community here. I would branch out and get involved as much as you can," Alex Knarr said.

Freshman Annalise Roach is also new to campus.

“Both my parents went there so they were very excited when I chose to come," Roach said.

She’ll be studying biology and says mom and dad have been reminding her to set her alarms and get plenty of rest for class.\

“They’re telling me to show up to close and don’t sleep in. You gotta show up," she said.

Roach is one of the roughly 1,200 students calling Butler home for this first time this year.

This year’s incoming class has an average GPA of 3.9.

“Really what we hope they get out of the first week or so is that they get into the community spirit. They get to know their new fellow classmates. That they get to know their faculty. Really enjoy that entry point into college," President Jim Danko said. "The more diverse the university you have, whether that’s geographic or racial or political, quite frankly, because we welcome all beliefs here on campus, that’s how students learn.”

President Danko says there’s lots of new and exciting stuff happening on campus this school year.

“Near the end of last year, we opened our new sciences building, which is a $100 million project. The biggest number of incoming students. The interest is very high in the sciences," Danko said.

University officials say the most popular major is biology, followed by health sciences and pre-pharmacy.