First Day of Classes at MC
August 22, 2007New shuttle buses began running routes around Clinton, crowds of Mississippi College students packed the campus cafeteria and scores of sleepy undergrads showed up for 8 a.m. classes.
It was all part of the opening of classes at MC as the school started its 182nd academic year on Wednesday.
Residence halls were full as the Christian university anticipates enrollment will be up at least 7 percent from the record 4,162 students last fall.
Looking back at opening day, "things went better than expected and everyone has a place to live," said Jim Turcotte, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. At last count, MC reported 528 freshman, a 17 percent increase from the 487 freshmen last fall.
Workers at the MC cafeteria stayed on the go Wednesday as they served 1,717 meals, for breakfast and lunch, according to Sodexho employees. They dined on pizza, ham and turkey sandwiches, salads and cake, to name some of the more popular items. Seats were hard to find around noon as morning classes let out. More hungry customers will be arriving for dinner.
Some students like Gail Bankston, 20, an accounting major from Carrolton, arrived early at their classes in Self Hall to beat the first-day rush. A transfer from Holmes Community College in Goodman, Bankston said she always got to school early at Holmes and is continuing the tradition at MC as she begins her junior year.
The day was a busy one for MC's more than 450 faculty and staff members. MC leaders commended their efforts.
"With all the challenges of transitioning from summer and camp activities to move-in week, I could not praise our staff more for the hard work and efforts made," said Steve Stanford, vice president for administration. "This included the challenges of facing over-capacity housing and the sensitivities of waiting lists and apartment accommodations. Move-in weekend, overall went very smoothly. Of course, we could not accomplish such a transition without the support and hard work of students and volunteers who assisted with move-in."
The shuttle service is up and going and will see usage up as information about schedules gets out, he said.
Staffers like Karen Lindsey-Lloyd stayed busy meeting with students Wednesday as director of MC Career Services.
"Career services experienced a high volume of both phone and foot traffic," she said. Students stopped by seeking help with resumes, had questions about jobs and internships. Others are signing up on-line, with more than 700 registered for an on-line MC job service. With classes startying, area employers are beginning to schedule interview times with students on the MC campus.
Welcome Week activities at MC include a Thursday night performance by Amos Lee in Swor Auditorium.
Wednesday's opening day marked the 20th year of teaching at MC for mathematics professor John Travis. He was teaching an introduction to linear Algebra to MC undergraduates in a new Self Hall classrooms loaded with computers. The technology has changed dramatically since Travis was an undergraduate at the Christian university. He's a 1982 MC graduate.
Besides hustling to classes, MC students are also busy making it to soccer, cross country, volleyball and football practices. MC football players continued to work hard amid near 100-degree temperatures to get ready for rival Millsaps in the Backyard Brawl. The evening contest on the Clinton campus Aug. 30 is the season opener for the Choctaws and the Majors.
PHOTO: Students find their way to the Math, Chemistry & Computer Science building for the first day of fall classes at Mississippi College.