Welcome Letter to the Class of 2026
Entering Class of 2026,
Welcome! You are just a few days from starting what we hope are four of the most consequential if not best, years of your life. Congratulations on being invited to join a legacy of Black Excellence that is likely unmatched at any other university. You were wise to accept it.
As you might have heard, your class represents a pivotal time in our University's history. Your class is one of the most diverse and includes the most significant number of incoming/transfer Black students in the University's history. You are among the best in this year's graduating class of high school seniors nationwide.
The Office of African-American Affairs has been helping students thrive for nearly 47 years. Together, we have only gotten better with time. For instance, each class for the last five years has surpassed the previous in achievement. We are confident you all will do the same. During Wahoo Welcome, the first six weeks of school, you will learn a lot about our office and other units in the University. Actually, we suspect that you have already heard from us through one of our Peer Advisors. Every year, we pair first-year and transfer students with a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year who can help you connect to resources, people, and services during your first year.
Since 1984, that program, along with our office and other programs, has contributed to UVA's nationally recognized retention and graduation rates. More important, since 2005, we have led a shift towards both high graduation rates and high GPAs. For instance, the average GPA for the 2022 class was 3.41. You are joining us at a great time.
Let's get to know one another. Today, you should receive several special invitations to join us for our annual programming:
- Annual Family Fun Day: August 19, 2022, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 at "1515" 1515 University Avenue. Family Fun Day is an opportunity to play games, sing karaoke, and eat and drink with your peer advisors. It's a great time to introduce yourselves and your families to the Deans and staff of our Office. Fun time!
- Annual Welcome Ceremony: August 20, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 at Ern Commons. Our annual welcome is the ceremonial transaction between the Office of African-American Affairs and your family. During that welcome program, we accept you all and encourage your family to prepare to leave you in our capable hands.
We have been excitedly waiting for you! If you have any questions, feel free to visit our website: https://oaaa.virginia.edu.
Michael Gerard Mason, PhD, LPC
Interim Dean, Office of African-American Affairs