SMC Welcomes its Largest and Most Gifted Freshman Class, Preparation Underway for Presidential Inaug

Moraga, Calif. (August 25, 2005) - Saint Mary's College of California will welcome its largest and most academically talented freshman class ever today as the campus prepares for the Sept. 23 inauguration of its 28th president.

More than 670 Saint Mary's freshmen are expected to take part in orientation activities over the next week. Continuing a recent trend, the incoming freshmen class is the most diverse ever with nearly 41 percent identifying themselves as African American, American Indian, Asian American or Latino.

The Class of 2009 includes 31 Presidential Scholars, the highest number in the college's history and more than double the number last year. To qualify for this distinction, students must have graduated from high school with at least a 3.8 grade-point average and an SAT score of 1350. The number of incoming freshmen designated as Honors at Entrance has also jumped to 80 from 61 last year.

The college is gearing up for the formal inauguration of Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC, as its 28th president. The ceremony, at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 23 in the Chapel Plaza, will highlight a week of inauguration events celebrating the Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions of Saint Mary's College. For event details, please visit:

As the fall semester begins, Saint Mary's hopes to build on the momentum generated last year when four of its athletic teams participated in post-season play. The Gaels men's basketball team made its first NCAA tournament appearance in eight years; the men's golf team earned a berth in the NCAA west regional championship field for the first time in its 34-year history; women's volleyball advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, and the men's rugby squad finished a winning 2004-05 season with an appearance in the USA Rugby national championship tournament.


Saint Mary's College of California, founded in 1863, is a residential learning community in Moraga, California based in the Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. The college currently enrolls more than 4,500 students in undergraduate, graduate and extended education programs. The Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guides the academic growth and spiritual character of the school. For more information, please visit: