Ann Demling, theatre department chair in the College of Fine Arts & Humanities, advises Moira Weigel, an incoming theatre major from South Dakota, during Early Registration for the fall semester for incoming students in class of 2021. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Incoming Freshmen Get Early Peeks at Brenau University Gainesville Campus

Jul 20, 2017
Kristen Bowman

Incoming freshman Moira Weigel traveled furthest to attend Brenau University’s Early Registration on Monday, July 17, driving almost 1,200 miles from her home in Beresford, South Dakota, with her father. She chose Brenau University for its renowned theater program.

“I was looking at schools all around the country. I was impressed and decided I wanted to go here,” Weigel said earlier this week as she met with university theater faculty during the second early registration event of the summer. She is among more than 260 incoming freshmen who will begin classes in late August at the opening of the 2017-18 academic year.

“I’m looking forward to learning and experiencing more and being on my own, being more independent,” she said.

While registrations are still taking place, the currently enrolled 265 incoming freshmen are primarily from Georgia, with 9.4 percent from out of state. The largest percentage of the class is studying health sciences, with 113 students pursuing degrees in the field. Another 84 students will be studying fine arts, while the balance are interested in education, business and mass communication, or are still deciding their majors.

Once a month this summer, these new students and their families have flocked to the Gainesville campus for a day of introductions, tours and registration for fall. These early registrations invite incoming freshmen to meet with their advisers and register for classes before the start of the school year.

“Statistically, a college student regardless of whether he or she starts at 18 or 38, will change their minds three times about their major,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader to a lecture hall full of new students and their families on Monday, July 17. “And you know what? That’s great. That’s wonderful, because that means you’ve been exposed to different things during your educational journey that have gotten you excited and changed your outlook. Now is the time for you to do that.”

In addition to early class registration, these campus visits give families the opportunity to have their questions answered about financial aid, and students can learn more during this time about clubs, groups and activities on campus.

“I went through this last year,” said Cassidy Buck, a sophomore orientation leader and special education major from Roswell, Georgia. “So it’s neat for me because I was just in their shoes. It’s going really well, and the turnout has been great. It’s exciting to see the new students in your major who you will be having classes with and hanging out with this year.”

Lloyd Burkes from Jonesboro, Georgia, chose Brenau to study music education. He had a scholarship at another school but dropped it because he was so impressed by the fine arts program at Brenau.

“I was a little nervous at first because the college looked small,” Burkes said. “But I went to the fine arts website and watched their video. I thought, ‘What in the world?’ It looked like they have such an emphasis on their fine arts, so I knew I wanted to come here.”

All incoming freshmen who did not attention an early registration in June or July will be registered for classes at ROAR, Brenau’s new student orientation scheduled to begin Wednesday, Aug. 23. There, students will meet their classmates and settle into college life. Each day will have a different focus and activities, and it is required for all incoming freshmen.

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