Austin College faculty, staff, and student leaders are busily preparing for the arrival this week of nearly 360 freshmen and new transfer students. By the weekend’s end, approximately 1,000 returning students will join them as the college begins its 162nd academic year.
Last year at this time, Austin College President Marjorie Hass was entering her first academic term at the college. Though she now has experienced a full year of Austin College activities, she eagerly awaits the arrival of new and returning students and the return to classes. “No matter how many times I experience it, there is always something very exciting about the beginning of a new academic year,” Dr. Hass said. “The arrival of new and returning students brings fresh energy to campus. I look forward to welcoming new and familiar faces to Austin College in the days ahead.”
Signs of the busy fall ahead are evident on campus. Student resident assistants already have arrived on campus for Student Life training to support student adjustment to life in a residence hall and as a member of the campus community. Student athletes participating in football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball are well into pre-season workouts, and the cheerleaders, Aussie Dance Team, Student Assembly officers, freshman seminar (Communication/Inquiry) student leaders, Student Development Board members, and other student leaders have gathered to do advance preparation for fall activities.
Things will get busier Thursday, August 26, when residence halls open for freshman arrivals and Student Development Board members and other student leaders assist freshmen with moving in and check-in processes. Activities continue at a hectic pace Friday, August 27, as orientation gets underway. The official welcome from President Hass and other college administrators at 10 a.m. in Hughey Gym of the Mason Athletic Complex begins a weekend of orientation activities. Parents’ involvement in orientation will end following closing services Saturday, August 28, in Wynne Chapel, and they will allow freshmen to continue their adjustment on their own. The students will travel to the college’s recreational area on Lake Texoma for additional group activities that afternoon.
Transfer students also participate in orientation sessions Saturday, and residence halls open for returning students Sunday, August 29. On Monday, August 30, freshmen register for classes and returning students complete check-in procedures. Opening Convocation on Monday at 7 p.m. officially opens the academic year, and President Hass will present the opening address to students, faculty, and guests. Following the convocation, which offers the first opportunity for members of the Class of 2011 to process in cap and gown, those students will gather for a “Senior Salute” at the president’s home.
Classes at the college begin Tuesday, August 31.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges that Change Lives.