Ohio Christian University’s 2018 fall semester Move-In Day proved one of the best. As rain-laden early-day clouds dispersed, a bright sun emerged to enliven this much-anticipated and event-filled day.
Greeted by “#OCUMoveIn - Welcome Home” posters, an eager class of new students streamed into the University’s Ministry and Performing Arts Center (MPAC) to sign in, check into dorms, and finish financial arrangements.
Admissions staff, clad in OCU-blue polo shirts, warmly greeted the newcomers. Blue and silver balloons festooned check-in tables where the freshmen picked up First Year Experience instructions attached to popular brands of candy bars.
On this first day of Alpha Week, the near-largest-ever freshman class split into small groups, each led by a faculty or staff mentor. These groups will quickly learn how to progress through their first year of college successfully. According to Events Coordinator Kandi Holbrook, “The First Year Experience helps freshmen plug into OCU's culture and community and learn to survive and strive. Using candy-bar brand names to assemble subgroups is a fun way to kick off this socialization.”
Freshman Isaiah Pauley, the recipient of one of three prized University scholarships, drove in from West Virginia with his parents. According to his father, “We looked at OCU and another Christian university. After touring this campus and Isaiah winning the scholarship, he decided this is where he wants to be.” Mrs. Pauley chimed in, “We’re thrilled, a bit nervous, and excited for our son who worked so hard to get here. It’s wonderful to participate.”
“Today, our new students and their parents are very upbeat and happy,” noted Bradford Sample, OCU’s Vice President of Enrollment. “Our new students will learn in groups with questions and issues being addressed consistently by the same faculty or staff mentor during their entire first year, ensuring engagement.”
After a Discovery Period students and parents roamed the campus becoming familiar with the services and facilities. In mid-afternoon, the newcomers joined President Kulaga and his wife Lena who welcomed everyone and spoke about the University’s Wesleyan worldview and its integration into every course of study. “When you send your student to a Christian university you are providing them with the broadest and deepest education possible. Only Christian universities allow the study of secular and sacred texts. At OCU we study secular contemporary theories - but in the light of eternity as revealed in Scripture.”
Late in the afternoon, everyone participated in a ceremony in which the class was officially named ‘The Proclaimers’ after Luke 4:18-19 (NIV): “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Bidding parents farewell, the new freshmen settled into their small groups for their first meet-n-greet sessions, followed by dinner, a game show extravaganza, and residence hall meetings. At the end of the day, many were exhilarated by anticipation of the adventure that Alpha Week would bring.
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