Erskine College began a yearlong celebration of its 175 years in Christian higher education by welcoming the largest incoming class in a decade, one of the largest in recent history.
The Class of 2017, nearly 200 strong, arrived August 28 for several days of orientation. They were joined during the weekend by 22 transfer students and the upperclassmen.
The incoming students represent 10 states in addition to South Carolina, including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, and Texas, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, according to Director of Admissions Tobe Frierson.
A number of new students arrived from outside the United States, hailing from Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Peru, and South Africa.
Silvio Braun of Germany, who plans to play on the men’s soccer team, is eager to live in a different culture and says he has found “a perfect opportunity and a perfect place in Erskine College” with its “excellent academic programs and a good program in soccer.” He noted that “for a German, the weather is perfect.”
“This looks like the most diverse class we’ve ever had,” Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Acting President Dr. Brad Christie said, adding, “We also have a higher percentage of new students from outside South Carolina, which makes even more impressive the fact that 40 percent are Palmetto Fellows or LIFE Scholars.”
“We are excited about the energy, diversity, and engagement level of this year’s class, as well as the success of move-in and orientation,” Vice President for Student Services Dr. Robyn Agnew said. “What a great way to kick off our 175th anniversary!”
“I’m honored to spearhead this year’s Flourishing Forward agenda as we kick off 175th celebrations, but most of all as we persist in pursuing Erskine’s historic mission.” Christie said.
Once the freshmen moved into residence halls, assisted by many campus volunteers, parents attended their own orientation session. Following the president’s reception in the Bowie Arts Center, parents departed and students enjoyed the Erskine Soiree, followed by “Freshman Frenzy” at Robinson Field.
Presentations, meetings, and social events for freshmen continued through the weekend. The Due West ARP Church hosted a dessert social for freshmen Thursday evening, and students were invited to a welcome breakfast Sunday on the Circle, followed by a welcome and worship service at the Due West ARP Church.
Classes began Monday, Sept. 2, for both college and seminary students.
Erskine will mark its 175th anniversary in the fall of 2014.
Upcoming events on campus include the Formal Opening of the College and Seminary Thursday, Sept. 12, at 11 a.m. in the Due West ARP Church, and a Faculty Showcase Recital, also on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
For more photos, see the following link.