'We Believe You are Here for a Purpose"
WILMORE, Ky. — New students received the first of many lessons on what “community” looks like at Asbury University as current students, staff and faculty joined forces this week to make the transition to Asbury as seamless as possible.
Engage 2013: New Student Orientation began Monday morning with packets of information for the new students and coffee for their parents. Many hands made light work of moving students into residence halls as people from different areas of the University pitched in.
Leading the way were Transition and Guidance (T.A.G.) leaders — sophomores who, remembering well their first days on campus in the not-too-distant past, have volunteered to serve new students and their families throughout orientation. Each T.A.G. group includes just under 20 new students who meet together for small group sessions, meals, ice-breakers and other activities that help build social connections.
T.A.G. leaders Kate Garnaas, a sophomore Equine/Psychology from South Dakota, and Nathaniel Taylor, a Theatre/Media Communication major from North Carolina, helped answer questions and direct foot traffic at the Student Center. Each anticipates a busy semester this Fall but made the time to come back to campus early for orientation.
“I love welcoming people to Asbury and making them feel at home,” Garnaas said.
For the Ansert family, the process of feeling at home at Asbury actually began months ago, soon after a campus visit convinced Emily, an incoming freshman, that Asbury was the place for her. Personalized attention from their admissions counselor transitioned into friendly assistance on campus — a level of service deeply appreciated by parents Chad and Jena.
“We were attracted to the size of the school,” said Chad. “Emily really thrives on knowing people and being involved, and the Christian perspective was huge for us.”
“Everyone we’ve spoken to has been really helpful,” Jena added. “They really want you here.”
This year’s new students — a group that includes both freshmen and transfer students — hail from 37 states and 16 countries. Nearly 25 percent are involved in one of Asbury’s 15 athletic teams, and 40 percent hold an academic scholarship. Asbury University President Sandra Gray pointed out, however, that though the students’ past achievements have established a solid foundation, continued success will require hard work and growth.
“We believe you are here for a purpose,” Gray said in remarks to students, parents and faculty at a convocation Monday evening. “Be equipped with a willing mind — we seek to think with the mind of Jesus, and we are freed and compelled to explore a broad range of truth. And have your heart set on God — anticipate challenges and struggles in what you believe, and gain the confidence and skills to navigate life.”