Another academic year officially begins today. The 2012 freshman class moved into their residence halls Wednesday and Thursday. My thanks to the many faculty and staff who welcomed these new students and worked hard to make their introduction to campus life successful.
We won’t have final numbers for another two weeks or so, but indications are that our fall headcount will be close to last year’s total. The number of returning undergraduates appears strong, but enrollment in our graduate programs in the College Education continues to decline as a result of changes in state guidelines for K-12 teachers. When the final human soul is counted, we expect to meet our credit hour projections, which is the important figure for budgetary purposes.
We have a full schedule of arts, cultural, athletic and student events this fall. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities; they’re a great benefit of University life. In athletics, the football team will host Valdosta State, the preseason no. 8 team in NCAA Division II, Saturday night at 7 p.m. Men’s soccer hosts Lewis at 4 p.m. on Thursday, and St. Joe’s at noon on Sunday.
This summer did not see the large-scale projects of many recent summers past, but some important improvements were made. The Campus Financial Services Center opened on schedule in August and is providing improved customer service for our students, and the reconstruction of Pierce Road was completed last week – just in time.
Last Monday, more than 200 new graduates participated in Commencement exercises and, in all, around 280 people completed degrees and joined the ranks for SVSU alumni.
We received quite a bit of media coverage last week. The agreement for our College of Science, Engineering and Technology to serve in a mentor capacity for Pentecost University College in Ghana made the Associated Press wire, and was included in the Aug. 22 edition of USA Today. Regional media outlets also provided extensive coverage of move-in day and other stories related to the start of another academic year.