Brenau University Women’s College first-year students begin moving into residence halls, planning for their first college classes and sizing up sororities and campus activities – not to mention each other – on Wednesday, Aug. 20, as the university welcomes that Class of 2018 to the historic campus.
Brenau officials estimate that there will be about 200 new first-year students to start the celebration of the institution’s 136th anniversary. As the Women’s College enrollment approaches 900, about 440 students will be residents on the Gainesville campus this year. The newcomer group also includes 108 students transferring to Brenau from other institutions.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2018 as well as those who started their college careers elsewhere for a very exciting time in the history of Brenau,” said Amanda Lammers, vice president of student services. “The staff has worked tremendously hard this summer to make sure these great students experience one of the most memorable times of their lives.”
This year the new students – as well as returners – will see something that has not been visible on the Brenau campus for some time: major construction. During the summer break the university razed four structures to make way for four new sorority houses that are scheduled to be completed and full occupied by the time the Class of 2019 comes to Gainesville a year from now.
By the end of the week the first-year Brenau students also will have an opportunity to visit with the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, and ask him questions about his new book and his perspective on global events.
This year the students’ “common reader” is President Carter’s new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. Brenau University first-year students will have an opportunity to meet with President Jimmy Carter in person during a special program created for them at the Carter Center in Atlanta. President Carter has agreed to spend some time with the Brenau students, talk briefly and answer their questions.
“This is a huge opportunity for our students,” said Brenau Women’s College Dean Debra Dobkins. “They will be in the same room with a global leader in every sense of the phrase, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a critical think who has written with passion and broad perspective about the ongoing plight of women in every country around the world, including our own. It is something that they will be able to tell their daughters and granddaughters about.“
“Move-in Day” is the time for great “photo ops” when parents, friends and relatives drop off their daughters for college – which for some represents their first time away from home to any significant degree. But in addition to featuring scores of individuals toting boxes, hangers full of clothing, televisions sets and other possessions from vehicles to residence hall rooms, the day offers sessions for parents and students about everything college-related from security to health services and academic success.
Student check-in on Wednesday begins with a continental breakfast at the Northeast Georgia History Center at 8:30 a.m. followed by orientation in the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts. Lunch at Hopkins Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. provides the first exposure to campus cuisine. Other activities include an opening ceremony in Pearce Auditorium, class picture on the front steps and a themed evening dinner party.
Orientation and registration for the freshman class of 2018 is actually five festive days counting down until classes begin Aug. 25. Students’ itinerary includes a pool party with music from Brenau’s radio station 89.1 WBCX, a Golden Tigers Soccer game, the trip to Atlanta, and shopping on the Gainesville square with milkshakes at the Collegiate Grill.