Anderson, Indiana

AU students back to class

Tue, 2010-08-31 08:38 -- univcomm
August 31, 2010

Just two weeks ago, the Anderson University campus was home to Peyton Manning and his Indianapolis Colts. This week, the university’s true residents returned, reclaiming the campus as the 2010-11 school year kicked off.

heliosclassSenior Holly Miller didn’t get a chance to see Colts training camp over the summer, but was excited for things to get back to normal on campus.

“It’s nice to know the ins and outs of campus, to know your place,” she said, acknowledging the benefits of finally being a senior in college.

Kate Barwick, 21, of Mishawaka, began her junior year on Monday by catching up with friends in the breezeway of Decker Hall.

Barwick, a math education major, is also a basketball player and said she chose the college for its math program.

Barwick is dedicated to making the AU experience more pleasant for others.

“I’m a peer mentor for the transfers,” she said. As a mentor, it falls upon Barwick and her colleagues to help new students navigate campus, join clubs and find a social life.

Courtney Jackson, 19, had no trouble regaining her college social life on Monday.

Standing near Barwick in the breezeway, Jackson squealed as she saw a familiar face.

Her squeal was echoed by the screech of the excited classmate.

A 19-year-old junior, Jackson started college when she was just 17 after having skipped her senior year of high school.

Hoping to one day become a pediatrician, Jackson is pursuing a biology major before heading off to medical school.

She got a chance to see Colts camp on its final day.

“It was very cool,” she said. “I’ve never seen this many people in the stadium.”

AU spokesman Chris Williams said the school’s reputation is continually improving, and once again grabbed an impressive ranking in a national report.

U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University 37th in its regional rankings for its September issue.

It’s the seventh year the university has landed in the top tier of the report, AU officials state.

“We’re encouraged by those outside evaluations,” Williams said.

“We’re very excited about this school year. We really feel we’ve got a great class of students coming in,” he said.

AU’s enrollment is projected to dip slightly this semester over last year, but Williams said the university has been lucky.

“The university is fortunate to have another good enrollment given the impact generated by the current economic conditions,” he said.

AU expects to see this year’s enrollment at 2,650 students.

Last year, the university boasted 2,691 students.

In 2008, 2,740 students attended.

Justin Cave, a transfer student from Franklin College, is one of the university’s newest faces.

“It’s awesome,” he said on Monday.

Just a few hours into his first day of class, Cave had already decided he’d found the right university.

“I’ve really been impressed by the faculty in general,” he said. “It’s a Christ-centered community.”

Happy to have figured out his first day of school scheduling and paperwork troubles within hours, Cave was impressed that everyone seemed extremely willing to help him.

“It’s not a school that claims to be a Christian college,” he said. “You can see people living it out.”

—Brandi Watters is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credit: John P. Cleary. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.