Asbury Welcomes Class of 2021

Asbury University welcomes the Appointed Class of 2021 during the first week of a new academic year.
President Sandra C. Gray prays with new students during Welcome Week.

WILMORE, Ky. — After a long, full summer, Asbury University’s campus is buzzing with students again during the first week of classes in the 2017-18 academic year. This week, Asbury seniors come into the home stretch — and the new Appointed Class of 2021 begins its first week in Asbury’s transformative Christian community.

“The community is different here,” said Gabby McLaughlin ’21, a new student from West Palm Beach, Fla., who is studying Biology in Asbury’s Pre-Med program. “People are more willing to talk to you, to ask questions about you and actually want to be friends.”

See more Welcome Week photos on Asbury's Instagram page!

New students came to campus during Welcome Week, an immersive experience introducing freshmen and transfer students to the Asbury community. Dr. Corrie Catlett '01 Merricks and Rev. Donald “D” Merricks '02 serve as class advisors — a long-standing Asbury tradition that allows faculty and staff to serve as mentors to a class throughout four years. Current students Phillip Salmen '18 (Physical Education) and Rachel VanLaningham '18  (Youth Ministry) serve as class sponsors.

“I’m excited to think about the adventures that are ahead of these students and to be part of shepherding them through the next four years,” Corrie Merricks said. “Class identity is something that’s really important and unique about Asbury, so we wanted to be a part of that.”

Asbury University welcomes the Appointed Class of 2021 during the first week of a new academic year.
From left: Phillip Salmen '18 and Rachel VanLaningham '18 greet new students and families.

During Welcome Week Many parents also participated in events from special parent orientation sessions — covering financial aid, academic affairs and much more — to a final dedication service that brought families together for a time of prayer.

“I’m very excited and happy to have my son attend Asbury,” said Anne Wells ’89. “I’m an Asbury attendee as well, so it’s nice to see him follow in my footsteps, and I know this is the direction God has planned for him. It’s a well-rounded education with great real-life, practical application.”

On Monday, Academic Convocation kicked off the first week of classes. Interim Provost Bonnie Banker shared thoughts on the value of the liberal arts, Dr. Emily Walsh, an Accounting professor, was awarded the Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award and President Sandra C. Gray spoke to students on the importance of loving God with mind as well as heart.

“Asbury University is committed to Christ-centered education,” Gray said. “To speak of this is to make the claim that Jesus is the centerpiece of all human knowledge. An Asbury education is rooted in the recognition that Jesus stands at the core of all we can know.”


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