There was nothing but applause at the Breslin Center when 8,000 new students were welcomed as the largest freshman class ever admitted to Michigan State University.
The chance to be around so many other students is part of the reason sophomore Hannah Lee chose to enroll a year ago: "Since it's so large, there's a lot in the school to accommodate people; there's more opportunities," but this year, she's coming back to a campus a little more crowded than she's used to.
Although it's too early to have an exact count, University officials tell me this could also be a record-breaking year for the over-all amount of undergrads enrolled; on track to beat out 36,675 last year.
"We've taken on the challenge of educating broadly, and at the same time providing an educational quality," said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon.
Numbers are rising not just because more are being admitted, but fewer are dropping out. The amount of freshman continuing on at MSU has risen to 91% over the last year; a steady increase of 1-2% every year since it was 85% in 1998.
"Our graduation rates are growing, so they're all good trends, and good problems to have."
If the trend continues in the same direction, more of this year's freshmen will stay at MSU to graduate than any class before.
Lee can't wait to meet them: "There's always new possibilities every day."