By Jennifer Chu
On Monday morning, a bright sun and blue sky accented a warm greeting by President L. Rafael Reif to the newest members of MIT — the Class of 2026 — who gathered with their families under a large and airy tent on Kresge Oval for Convocation, the Institute’s annual welcome to the incoming class.
This year’s first-years at MIT comprise 1,139 students, who have come from 50 states, 65 countries, and more than 900 high schools. The incoming class was selected out of a total of 33,796 applicants — a record high that is also 2 percent higher than the number of students who applied to MIT the previous year. The Class of 2026 is also notable in that it will be the last one Reif addresses at Convocation, as he will step down as president at the end of this year.