Disciples News Service

HELM celebrates another school year at Disciples institutions

This collection originally appeared on the Higher Education & Leadership Ministries (HELM) website.

A new academic year has begun and, for Disciples-related colleges and universities, there is much to celebrate and share! New buildings opening, record incoming classes, changes in leadership, and much more:

Barton College welcomed 325 first-year students, the largest incoming class since 1982. President Scott Searcy noted that “Last year at this time, it was 277. It is a significant increase in the numbers of students and that does not include transfers.” Barton College also opened a new athletic field, Electric Supply Company Field, which is now the home of Barton’s lacrosse and soccer teams and will serve Barton’s new football team, which begins competition in the fall of 2020.

Bethany College received reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission for the next ten years. The process to earn reaccreditation is intense and requires a substantial investment of time from the administration, faculty, and staff. Bethany’s President, Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg, said, “This latest news reaffirms HLC’s confidence in our vision, teaching, academic program, and future planning as expressed in our strategic plan, Bethany Connect.”

Chapman University opened a new dorm. The 400-bed housing facility, named The K, cost an estimated $47.4 million and includes two-bedroom suites. Chapman is also launching the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering. The school opens a year ahead of schedule and will eventually be housed in the Keck Center for Science and Engineering.

Columbia College opened a new residence hall, the first housing structure built on the campus in 50 years. The building, called New Hall, will house 150 students. It will also be the home of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business, which will include a large conference room and six classrooms.

Culver-Stockton College has been ranked as the top school in the state of Missouri for job placement ratings. The College’s 94.39 rating was given by Zippia, Inc., a California-based national resource website with career information for job seekers, and places it among the top 20 schools in the nation.

Drury University opened its new “Compass Center” this fall. The Center will help students with academic advising, career planning, and learning support. Mike Brothers, representing the University Relations Office, noted, “We want to be very intentional in giving students a mentoring squad, a whole team of people, that are going to approach this with them.” For now, the Center is located in the Career Planning Office; however, plans are in place to build a new facility to house the Center.

Eureka College has partnered with Midstate College, providing transfer opportunities. Midstate College ceased operations in August and Eureka will provide substantial scholarship packages, including The Uniquely Eureka Promise, for Midstate students needing to finish their studies in Business Administration, Accounting, Criminal Justice/Sociology, and History/Political Science.

Hiram College has announced a new tuition model that will take effect at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. The new program, called “Learn More, Earn More, Spend Less,” includes cutting the College’s published tuition price by 35%, dropping from $37,710 this year to $24,500 next fall. The school will also be offering free summer classes and assistance in connecting students with paid internships.

Jarvis Christian College is raising funds through the 5,000 Jarvis Strong Campaign. The drive seeks to raise funds from alumni as well as friends of the university to support need-based scholarships, academic programs and renovations for the physical plant.

The University of Lynchburg has a new swim team that begins competition this fall. The last time the University offered swimming as an intercollegiate sport was 1971. A new dorm is also opening this fall with the capacity to house 270 students. The dorm is located next to the athletic fields and students will be able to watch sporting events from their rooms or a rooftop terrace. The facility will also house the University’s Westover Honors College

Midway University announced record enrollment for the fourth consecutive year. This fall the College welcomed an incoming class of 274 undergraduate students, which exceeds last year’s record of 267. The school has also added two new concentrations, Leadership and Human Resource Management, to its Business Administration Majors to go along with the existing Accounting concentration.

The Texas Christian University and University of North Texas Health Science Center’s School of Medicine in Fort Worth welcomed its first class. The new medical school, which has been in the making since 2015, has an initial enrollment of 60 students. The school puts an emphasis on training doctors who, in addition to caring for the physical needs of patients, are also compassionate and empathetic.

Tougaloo College welcomed a new president, Dr. Carmen Walters. Dr. Walters is the 14th President of Tougaloo and she succeeds Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan, who had led the College since 2002. Dr. Walters has more than 24 years of experience in higher education, including most recently serving as Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management, Student Success and Institutional Relations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

At Transylvania University, construction continues on a new, $30 million campus center.  Completion is scheduled for fall of 2020 and, when completed, the 97,710 square foot facility will include event spaces, a fitness center, and dining areas.

William Woods University continues to see an upward trend in enrollment. The University welcomed 958 new evening students and online students, up 5% from last year. With the addition of 256 incoming freshmen, the total student population now stands at 2,168. In the past three decades, William Woods has seen a 300% increase in enrollment.

HELM gives thanks for the administrators, faculty, staff, and students at Disciples-related schools as well as the many alumni/alumnae who maintain connections and support. Learn more about the colleges and universities of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) here.

To support the work of the seven Disciples-related theological schools and 15 colleges and universities, you’re invited to give to the 2019 Thanksgiving Special Day Offering, received in many congregations on Nov. 17 and 24.