By Sol Ayala
Online Media Writer
Trevecca welcomed the class of 2026 as one of the most diverse groups of new students in school history.
More than 40 percent of the 378 first-year students are from a minority group, and freshmen this year represent 11 countries and 12 U.S. states.
According to data from the admissions office, Trevecca enrolled 101 freshmen who identified as Hispanic or Latino, 39 as Black or African American, 16 as Asian, three as Nativie Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and seven as Native American.
“I think it just goes to show the opportunity here,” said Selah Torralba, ASB director for inclusion and belonging. “And most importantly it goes to show that the university is changing, and so the way that you accommodate your students as the student body changes also has to be willing to grow.”
Religious affiliation is another area of diversity among this year’s freshmen.
Out of 378 incoming students, 94 identified as Nazarene, 71 students as Christian (not specified), 35 as non-denominational, 24 as Catholic, 10 as Church of Christ, six as Methodist, three as Presbyterian, two as Muslim and 65 students who chose not to state a religious affiliation.
Around 41 percent of this year’s freshmen also identify as first-generation students, meaning that no one in their immediate family has ever graduated from college.
As the number of first-generation students increases year after year, a mentor program was created to serve these students. The program aims to identify who the first-generation students are and help them in the transition into college life, said Mark Bowles, director of academic services.
“The goal with the mentor-based relationship with the students is to collect retention data on how students in the mentor program do,” he said.
Around 63 first-generation students are currently enrolled in the program with older first-generation college students who can help them navigate life and academics on a college campus.
“The support structure the university needs to have for them is going to be more significant,” said University President Dan Boone. “We gotta come alongside this class and help them at the places where they need.”