The 2010 freshmen class is one of the largest and highest achieving in university history, and Welcome Week organizers say they are working to connect them to the ACU community.
The university will not disclose official enrollment numbers until the 12th day of classes, but Associate Vice President for Enrollment Buck James said the 2010 freshmen class is one of the ten largest in university history, with about 1,000 students.
James also said this year’s freshmen class has the highest average ACT test score of any first-year class in ACU history, with an average score of 24.7. He also said 19 percent of this year’s newcomers finished in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.
The theme of this year’s Welcome Week orientation was “Live Out Loud.” Dr. Eric Gumm, director of orientation and head of Welcome Week, said the idea behind the theme was to emphasize the idea of what makes an ACU student unique.
“As we look at what the world expects out of college students, it says ‘live for yourself,'” Gumm said. “We want students that live a life that speaks to our faith.”
Gumm said the intended purpose of Welcome Week is all about acclamation. His goal is for every student to be comfortable in their environment when the first day of school rolls around.
“I want students to feel like they’ve had a real glimpse of what ACU is like so they are ready for all that the semester has to offer,” Gumm said.
Five upperclassmen assisted Gumm in Welcome Week activities. Emily Bushnell, senior family studies major from New Braunfels, was one of Gumm’s student directors. She said coordinating Welcome Week was a worthy time commitment.
“It’s a lot of hard work with a lot and a lot of behind-the-scenes work,” Bushnell said. “It’s been very rewarding.”
For incoming freshmen, Welcome Week not only presents a chance to get acclimated with ACU, but also a chance to meet new friends.
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of friendly people, and I’m starting to know my way around campus better,” said Julia Pierce, freshman undecided major from Nashville.
Welcome Week also allows new students to get acclimated with their Cornerstone instructors and classmates who will be with them through their first semester.
“I really like how our Cornerstone instructors ahead of time, that’s really helpful,” said JuliAnn Dowdy, freshman computer science major from Omaha.
Students participated in the traditional Welcome Week activities including: Twister, Candlelight Devotional, Mentor Group Olympics and Moody Morning.