Photo: Watson family, Brock, Donna, Tori, Rob; Young family, Daley, Tina, Rod
Tori Watson and Daley Young are first cousins, best friends, and soon to be roommates at Hardin-Simmons University.
They are among the approximately 600 special guests on the Hardin-Simmons University campus today, here to register for their first-semester classes. This is Spring Round-Up, the first of three opportunities for incoming freshmen and transfer students, who have already been accepted to HSU, to visit, select classes, and find out what else there is to do while they are students.
The day begins with check-in at the registration tables set up in front of the Alumni Wall. A stone’s throw away, soon-to-be students and their parents are filing into Behrens Auditorium for the morning welcome session.
“While advising and registration is central to our purpose,” says Jim Jones, associate vice president for Enrollment Services, “We have designed activities that will engender confidence in the students and their parents that HSU is truly the best university choice they could make.
“From the ‘Welcome to HSU’ general session, special interest seminars, to the music and snow cones, we want families to have freedom to enjoy what is most important to them during the time they aren’t registering for classes,” says Jones.
Students and parent can explore student life activities and opportunities as they visit the Campus Connection booths and displays set up around HSU’s central pond. There they can learn more about social clubs, the leadership program, HSU Green, Intermurals, Spurs, the Writing Center, Baptist Student Ministries, and even services at Richardson Library.
When students leave Round-Up, they will have a schedule in hand and know what their first semester will cost. New students and their parents also get the chance to find buildings on their own, eat a meal in the cafeteria, and talk to counselors about financial aid.
Meanwhile, parents will learn about ways their students will be supported in their education by campus personnel and programs. Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Tommy Brisco says, “The advantage of a 13:1 student to faculty ratio means that HSU is the kind of place where we can call each other by name. It is also a hard place for a student to hide. That gives HSU a chance to nurture its students and equip them for life.”
Tori and Daley, from Midland and Brady respectively, come from an HSU legacy family. One of their great aunts, Anita Lane, from Buffalo Gap, Texas, was just on campus to attend the Golden Reunion celebration – a graduate of the class of 1963. Their grandparents’ names, Kenneth and Veta Young, are on HSU’s Alumni Wall.
Daley’s sister, Shelby Young, will graduate from HSU in December and her other sister, Macy, was part of HSU’s first women’s track program. Tori’s 13-year-old brother, Brock, even came along for the campus visit.
Tori’s mom and dad, Donna and Rob Watson, and Daley’s mom and dad, Tina and Rod Young, all agree that they enjoy the wholesome atmosphere at HSU. Rob says he’s seen both sides of it, public and private universities, and he’s glad Tori chose HSU.
Tina says when her older daughter, Macy first came to look at the campus, they actually had a visit scheduled at a state university, “I said, let’s just go look at HSU. Macy was impressed, even a bathroom was decorated with framed scriptures on the wall and the people knew her name on the very first day.” Donna says, “When Tori came to HSU for a visit, she realized that this is where God wanted her to be.”
Tori and Daley will begin fall classes on August 26, 2013. They also plan to attend the five-day New Student Orientation that begins Wednesday, August 21. Tori hopes to be accepted into HSU’s post grad physical therapy program, so her classes over the next four years will be mostly science-based. Daley plans to go the business route, through HSU’s Kelley College of Business.
Donna says even though their families live in Brady and Midland, Abilene has become their hub, so they will all be spending a lot of time over the next few years in Abilene.
Jones says this event accounts for about one-third of the new students who will attend in the fall. The other two-thirds may attend one of two more registration events during the summer – Summer Round-Up for incoming students registration will be June 24, 2013, and The Last Round-Up will be August 5.