Few times in the academic year are more exciting or full of energy than the next few weeks. This is the time when students begin arriving on campus, full of both enthusiasm and nervousness. From my vantage point as President of Defiance College, it is a delight once again having students arriving en masse to our DC campus. Yes, I very much enjoyed spending time with the students who stayed on campus over the summer. But there is no replacing the level of activity that is generated by the presence of more than one thousand students all in the same place.
Actually, the arrival of our new students started a few weeks ago with the participants in our new Bridge Program, which provides intensive preparation for college to a group of incoming freshmen for whom we thought that kind of extra preparation would be most beneficial. Our Bridge Program was a great success, as the students became acclimated to college life and the college environment, honed their study techniques, and got practice in attending and preparing for college-level classes. At the same time, they also had some fun, including a trip to a Detroit Tigers baseball game as well as a trip to the Columbus Zoo (as well as a nearby waterpark).
A little over one week later, we welcomed our incoming football players for their training camp. That brought a whole new level of activity to campus, and it certainly increased the level of food consumption on campus! (My wife Anne and I had the football team over for dinner one evening – and they consumed over 100 pizzas!). Just the other day, we welcomed another group of incoming students, as members of the pep band, the cheerleaders, and student athletes participating in several fall sports arrived on campus. And this weekend, both the remaining incoming students and returning students will move back to DC. Anne and I are looking forward to hosting an ice cream social at our house this Sunday to welcome everyone back.
The new students arriving on campus are part of the largest incoming freshman class in recent memory. And they hail from numerous different states as well as several foreign countries, so I am very pleased that DC is continuing to attract an increasingly diverse group of accomplished students to our campus. There is much more excitement in store for these students once they get settled in, as we continue to move our academic programs forward in some pretty dramatic ways, from increased international travel opportunities to much more substantial linkages between what goes on in the classroom and the realities of the outside world. I will talk more about both our incoming class and several of these initiatives in some upcoming blogs. But I hope all of you enjoy these next few weeks of new opportunities and possibilities for our students as much as I will!