Date: September 19, 2005
As southwest Michigan welcomes September's crisp air and leafy underfoot crunch, at Andrews University autumn is punctuated by more than bushel baskets of fresh apples and vines full of pumpkins awaiting October picking; it signals a harvest of new and returning students.
The 2005-2006 school year got off to an energizing start when 305 first-time freshmen arrived on campus to begin their college careers at Andrews University. Freshmen, along with 141 transfer students, spent the week of August 21-28 getting “All Fired Up” to begin classes during a week of orientation and fun activities. The week was an important time of transition into college life and a great way to make new friends. Students registered for classes, learned important college survival skills, formed family groups and participated in fun events such as the “We Scream for Ice Cream” social. They also had a chance to attend a free concert by Christian recording artist Shaun Groves and spend an afternoon working on a variety of community service projects. School officially began on August 29.
“All Fired Up!” was a fabulous opportunity to build friendships with my class,” said Bonnie Echeverria, freshman political science major. “The group leaders had such a huge impact on my family group – we became really close. Plus, the music was awesome!”
Acccording to the university's recent release of its annual enrollment report, this semester's harvest promises to be a bountiful one. An enrollment increase of 70 students has brought even more smiling faces to the Andrews campus this year, bringing the total enrollment to 3,087 students compared to last year’s 3,017. The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews experienced a particularly noticeable jump in enrollment with an increase of 81 students, bringing the total to 768.
“We’re happy to have even more students on the Andrews campus this year,” said Stephen Payne, vice president for enrollment management. “It’s been exciting to see the school grow a total of more than 300 students in the past five years.”
Payne is also proud of the heart for service this year’s group of students has already demonstrated. Many new students, having been in school less than a week, joined the almost 100-member crew that recently traveled to Mississippi for Katrina relief efforts. “School has only been just begun, and already students have gotten involved, taking the school’s admonition to ‘seek knowledge, affirm faith, change the world’ seriously by giving up their Labor Day weekend to help with Katrina relief,” Payne stated.
Andrews’ commitment to academic excellence is recognized with the University’s continued ranking by U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges edition as one of only 248—162 public, 86 private—institutions of higher education in the United States to receive the National University ranking. Andrews is the only Seventh-day Adventist university to hold this distinction. According to the August 29, 2005 issue of U.S. News & World Report, a National University “offers a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees; many strongly emphasize research.” Currently, Andrews offers approximately 180 different, undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. Andrews also continues to rank at number six for percentage of international students on campus, with 12% of the student population coming to Andrews from all over the world, and as the 16th most diverse campus of any national university, public or private.
As evidenced by this year’s increased enrollment, more and more students are finding Andrews University the right place to “Seek knowledge. Affirm faith. Change the world.”