GRADES rose slightly in the first year following the end of numerical targets for grades of A, a faculty committee reported. The average GPA across all courses and programs increased from 3.335 in 2013–14 to 3.390 in 2014–15. The smallest increases came in the natural sciences and engineering, while the largest came in the social sciences and the humanities. Under the new policy, departments developed their own guidelines for grading.

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

MARINA RUSTOW, who joined the faculty this summer as a professor of history and Near Eastern studies, was one of 24 recipients of this year’s $625,000 MacArthur “genius grants.” Rustow has used the Cairo Geniza — a collection of manuscript fragments found in a Cairo synagogue — to explore Jewish life and the broader society of the medieval Middle East, the foundation said.

Beginning next fall, ALL FRESHMEN will take part in an expanded orientation program that incorporates Community Action and Outdoor Action. First-year athletes will take part in a new program that offers workshops and discussions while also engaging in practice and games.

“The plan is to really get the freshmen moving through the same experience,” said Jill Dolan, dean of the college, noting that not all students participated in the “intense bonding experiences” of Outdoor Action and Community Action in the past.