Record number of students marks spring semester

Sophomore public relations major Leah Bunker came all the way from Iowa to attend college at UMHB. One visit to campus convinced her it was the right place to finish her college education.

Bunker enrolled in the spring, becoming part of a record spring enrollment of 3,049 for the university.

“I decided to come to UMHB because I really connected with the Christian atmosphere,” she said. “I’m from a small town, so I’m more comfortable with a small school. I didn’t want to go to a university where I would be one of hundreds in my classes.”

Although the college has been consistently growing, the administration wants to ensure that it does not grow too fast too soon. Monitoring development and expansion helps keep student-to-teacher ratios low, which is a selling point.

“UMHB is a place where students can come and grow spiritually while receiving a great education,” Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Dr. Gary Lamm said. “UMHB is no longer the best kept-secret in Texas.  The word is out about the personal attention we provide, the beautiful campus and new facilities being built….”

The small community feel is one thing that was so attractive to Bunker. A campus tour quickly showed her the college she wanted to be a part of.

“I actually visited campus this past summer in August, and right away I knew that this is where I wanted to go to finish college,” Bunker said. “Honestly, UMHB is a much nicer environment than where I was previously, so I decided to transfer as soon as I could.”

Administration keeps a strong focus on making the campus look appealing to prospective students as well as current Crusaders.

“I can’t tell you how many people drive on our campus and they come to our recruiting office, and the first thing they say to the recruiting people (is), ‘wow when I walked on campus, I just felt a peace here. This place is beautiful,’” Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Steve Theodore said. “It’s an attractive place to be, so when people visit the campus and then compare us to other places, I think we fare pretty well.”

This semester marks the first time spring enrollment has exceeded 3,000. The campus master plan is another object contributing to the growth taking place.

“When they see that we’re building a football stadium and a new student center and a new art building and a new nursing building, those things drive excitement and make people want to be a part of it,” Theodore said.

Bunker is excited to be a part of a changing and expanding university that provides a great place for students to learn.

“It is so cool to be at a school that is constantly growing and improving,” she said. “Also, I’ve been hearing about a new student center with a Starbucks, and I’m pretty pumped about that.”

The admissions and enrollment management offices are increasing the number of campus recruiting events to help growth continue.

“With record enrollment, they’re doing a fantastic job talking about the benefits of a Mary Hardin-Baylor education,” Theodore said. “The numbers speak for themselves.”

Author: Seth Stephens

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