Kalamazoo College will welcome 398 first-year students and their families to the 2019-20 academic year at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, during Convocation.
The ceremony, serving as the first of two bookends to the K experience with the other being graduation, will take place on the Lower Quad. The ceremony’s rain site will be Stetson Chapel.
K’s first-year students include 29 degree-seeking international students, plus 10 transfer students and 19 visiting international students. New students will attend K from 29 states including Illinois, California, Texas and Minnesota, and 15 countries including Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Students of color from the U.S. make up about 36 percent of the incoming class. Twenty-four percent of the incoming class will be the first in their families to attend college.
President Jorge G. Gonzalez, Provost Danette Ifert Johnson, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Sarah Westfall, Chaplain Elizabeth Candido ’00, faculty, staff and student leaders will welcome new students and their families. Convocation will conclude with new students signing the Matriculation Book.
Martin Acosta ’97, the founder and CEO of Inalproces and Kiwa, will deliver this year’s keynote address. Acosta was an international student from Ecuador who studied economics and business at K, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an M.B.A. from INSEAD, he became an entrepreneur, professor and business consultant.
In 2009, Acosta and his wife, Natalie, wanted to make a difference for the people of Ecuador. In 2009, they launched Kiwa. Kiwa works directly with farmers in Ecuador and northern Peru to turn native vegetables like Andean potatoes and beets into snack foods for a worldwide market, helping these farmers escape poverty. Today, Kiwa is a global brand of premium vegetable chips sold in more than 30 countries. Kiwa has won international awards for innovation and corporate social responsibility as it strives to fulfill its mission to provide quality, innovative snacks that are friendly to the environment and beneficial to everyone.
Convocation will be available through a live stream. There will also be a reception after the ceremony behind Stetson Chapel on the Upper Quad. The reception’s rain site will be the Hicks Student Center.