On August 17th, the Class of 2021 was formally welcomed into the UMSL family by Dean Larry Davis at the beginning of the orientation program.  There are many unique qualities and points of pride for this class, including:

  • The largest class in UMSL history, with a total of 49 students entering the program.  This was the result of a very high-quality applicant pool which made it challenging for the Admissions Committee to not accept some very well-qualified applicants.
  • The admission process for the Class of 2021 was completed in mid-February, making it – by over one month – the earliest we have ever completed the admissions process.
  • The highest average Grade Point Average (GPA) in our history: 3.53
  • The first time in our history that we have both a mother and daughter in the program at the same time (Alexandra Gada ’19, and Olivia Gada ’21)
  • One of the highest percentages of previous work experience in the profession (52%)

This is a class with great diversity, with several students who were born and raised in other countries.  In addition, there is a large percentage of students who served as president of their respective Pre-Optometry Clubs as undergraduates.  Numerous members of the class played intercollegiate sports, with several baseball players.  This bodes well in continuing our excellence in winning campus intramural sports championships.  Finally, there are many members of the class who are making career changes to allow their journey to end with optometry as their chosen profession.  The UMSL College of Optometry and the profession of optometry will benefit from the career decision they have made.

Welcome, Class of 2021.  It is evident you will represent a high-achieving class with great leadership and engagement.

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