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In the News: MACU begins with largest fall class

Aug 20, 2014 | General Info, News

Article originially found at http://www.dailyadvance.com/news/macu-begins-largest-fall-class-2628339

MACU begins with largest fall class

Mid-Atlantic Christian University is starting the fall semester with its largest enrollment ever — a change noted by both returning students as well as campus officials.

According to MACU President Clay Perkins, the university started the fall semester this week with 199 students. That’s three more than in the fall of 2003 when enrollment hit 196, he said.

Perkins said this year’s figure “very well could be a record attendance for us,” but MACU won’t know for sure until after the drop/add period ends. Enrollment could go up; it also could go down.

“It certainly is a growth year for us, and we’re excited about it,” Perkins said.

At any rate, enrollment is already 10 percent more than last fall, when 162 students were on campus, says Ken Greene, vice president of student services.

“So that is an exciting thing for us,” Greene said.

Additionally, MACU enrollment of military personnel and their family members has doubled, something Registrar Yolanda Teske attributed to the university being accepted last month for membership in the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium.

MACU had previously enrolled between four and six students who were either veterans, military spouses or dependents of military personnel, she said. This year, 12 military veterans, spouses or their dependents had enrolled by Tuesday, and open enrollment continues the first 10 days of school.

Senior Ariana Avila said Tuesday she was initially overwhelmed when she arrived back on campus and saw more students. Having students “all over campus” gives MACU a very different feel, especially from two to three years ago, she said.

Although classes at MACU officially began late Monday afternoon, Perkins welcomed freshmen and new students during the university’s 67th opening convocation service Tuesday morning in Davenport Chapel.

The keynote speaker for the convocation was Charles Becton, interim chancellor at Elizabeth City State University, whose university also is beginning the first day of the fall semester this week.

Becton urged students to get off their “buts” — their excuses — and to make a difference. Instead of being thermometers that merely reflect the temperature of their surroundings, “MACU needs you to be thermostats who set the temperature and change it as necessary,” Becton said.

He encouraged students to “learn how to learn, and never stop learning;” to care about one another in the present-day “me-first culture;” to work hard; and to take action against any selfishness and intolerance they encounter.

“You have been blessed, so be a blessing,” Becton said.

Sophomore Wyatt Stanton said after the convocation that he’s excited about the new school year.

“I had my first class yesterday, so I’m already in the groove,” Stanton said.

A native of upstate New York, the 20-year-old said he worked over the summer for MACU, traveling to summer camps in several states, talking to other young people about the benefits of the Christianity-based university.

“I’m taking a lot of Bible classes (this semester), so I’m happy to get in depth more in that aspect of my education,” Stanton added.

Freshman TJ Martin was studying in the library after convocation. He had already attended his first two classes, and said the basic math course “should be fairly simple,” but was unsure about his oral communication class.

Overall, “it feels good,” the 18-year-old said of his first days at college. The Ohio native, who hopes to become a youth minister, said the youth minister at his church graduated from MACU, and had nothing but good things to say about its professors and the campus.

Because she’s a resident assistant, Avila, 21, gets a chance to meet many of the freshmen. She likes to hear their plans for the future, and seeing them grow spiritually, academically and personally is exciting, she said.

A California native, Avila said she chose to attend MACU because of its mission of “making Christians extraordinary leaders.”

The counseling and psychology major said that “the experience I’ve had here has impacted my life, and I’m ready to serve.”