FROM STAFF REPORTS
Bethune-Cookman University’s fresh crop of new students arrived Aug. 15 and school officials expect more than 1,100 freshmen and transfer students. More than 3,500 students are enrolled at the university for fall classes.
B-CU also has raised admission requirements such as higher grade-point averages. The university had nearly 8,000 student applications for the fall semester, double what it normally receives.
The freshmen were treated to a special program the afternoon of Aug. 15 at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center. They were entertained by members of B-CU’s band and choir members.
Weekly service required
They also were welcomed by Michelle Thompson, dean of the Freshman College; the school’s new chaplain, the Rev. John Baldwin II; and other student and faculty leaders.
The students would meet B-CU President Dr. Edison Jackson on Aug. 18 during the formal freshmen induction ceremony at the center, which included their parents.
The freshmen will be required starting next month to attend a weekly chapel service, a tradition started by founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
The Rev. David Allen, a B-CU alumnus and previously associate pastor of evangelism at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, will be the university’s first dean of the chapel and executive chaplain.
New programs, renovations
There are other changes at the university, including the establishment of a College of Health Sciences to focus on new health-care degree programs and the creation of a new School of Liberal Arts. New master’s degrees are in psychology and criminal justice administration.
A new master’s in public health and bachelor’s in sports medicine also are planned for 2014 and a master’s in nursing in 2015.
Dorms have been renovated and students began moving into them last week. Returning students also will find that the dining hall has been renovated as well and there is new technology in classrooms.
Construction will start in September to demolish most of the Harrison Rhodes Memorial Social Science classroom building on Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard. A new four-story, $4 million building will include classrooms, research labs and offices.