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OU, OSU welcome record-breaking, diverse freshman classes
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OU, OSU welcome record-breaking, diverse freshman classes

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The 2021 fall semester is underway at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, and both universities are boasting historic enrollments.

In a statement released Friday, OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. announced that the university's incoming freshman class is “the largest, most diverse, and most academically qualified class in (OU’s) history.”

The freshmen class sits as 4,600 enrollees, 25% of whom are first-generation students. This puts OU’s undergraduate enrollment at 21,768 students, according to U.S. News & World Report.

In Stillwater, OSU President Kayse Shrum welcomed students to campus at Friday’s freshman convocation ceremony. OSU anticipates its second-largest incoming class and the largest one-year increase in new transfer students in school history.

OSU’s incoming class has 4,280 first-time students, putting OSU’s total undergraduate count at 24,580 students.

Fall 2021 also marks OSU’s most diverse freshman class on record. Among the incoming class, 30% of students represent historically marginalized and underrepresented students, and nearly 20% are first-generation students.

Both schools noted that their dedicated faculty and commitment to excellence allowed the schools to persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Few universities have prospered as we have, returning with our largest-ever freshman class,” Harroz said. He said the school has “a faculty that has grown in size and — even more impressively — in the scale and impact of its research and creative activity.”

Shrum is the first female president at either of the state's two largest universities, replacing Burns Hargis at the helm this summer after his tenure of nearly 13 years.

“I just started this job July 1, so you could say this is my freshman year, too,” Shrum joked with the audience at the convocation.

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