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Does it means he graduated or entered the College in 2001?

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possible duplicate of What is the difference between "Class of 2004" and "Batch of 2004"? – jwpat7 May 19 '12 at 22:54
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The graduating class of 2001.

If it referred to the year he entered school (this can refer to US high schools as well as colleges), it would be "Entering class of 2001" or "Freshman class of 2001".

But nobody uses those forms for people who've graduated, or at all, really; unless they're trying to raise money.

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Didn't read this right the first time! – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 May 19 '12 at 22:29
Your answer is a bit confusing, nobody uses which forms? all above? including the graduating class? – Jader Dias May 20 '12 at 1:26
People don't usually refer to the incoming year as the Class of XYZ, only the graduating class. Sorry. – John Lawler May 20 '12 at 3:34
@Kris: I'm having trouble getting what you're saying, unless you're trying to make a joke, perhaps? The expression is widely used in the manner I indicated... – J.R. May 20 '12 at 19:42
@J.R. "But nobody uses those forms ... really; unless they're trying to raise money." (John Lawler, above). :-) – Kris May 21 '12 at 6:07

No matter when your graduation is, in years ahead, now, or years ago, in the US, a member of the 'class of 2012' is someone who has, is now, or will graduate in the year 2012.

Americans born this year will likely graduate from a university in the 'class of 2034', the seniors graduating this weekend are in the 'class of 2012', and at 25 anniversary class reunion in a month is for 'the class of 1987', the year of their graduation. Incoming freshmen in the fall are 'class of 2016' (four year college).

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do you know what it is in the UK? – ODP May 21 '12 at 10:34

I know that in Canada and the US it is the year of graduation. However, I think that in the UK it is the year one starts school.

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No, in the UK, people don't normally say "class of" followed by a year. That seems to be just a North American thing. – Tristan r Aug 11 '14 at 19:24

I believe there is room for additional meaning to the phrase.

Many people who came of age around 2001 can look at the world as pre-9/11 and post-9/11, referring of course to a pivotal moment in recent history.

From the 'Class of 2001' emerged many people awoken to an 'updated' worldview.

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