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College Students Are Home

FARMVILLE – Let the gains begin.

The economic, cultural and social booster rockets are engaged as over 6,000 college students are either back home again in Farmville and Prince Edward County, or on their way.

Longwood University, which doubled the Town's population over the weekend, welcomed the third-largest freshman class in its history when new students moved in August 16 for the 2012 academic year, which sees them officially counted by the Census as local residents.

Some 1,044 freshmen and 215 transfers-the largest transfer class in 20 years-were scheduled to arrive. Last fall, 174 transfers and 1,074 freshmen, the largest freshman class ever, were expected for move-in day. The combined number of new students (1,259) is more than last year (1,248).

The total of LU's new students exceeds the total student body that will begin arriving at Hampden-Sydney College on Saturday, when freshmen move in on campus.

H-SC is expecting between 1,080 and 1,090 students by the time sophomores, juniors and seniors return to campus on Monday, with classes beginning for all on Wednesday, August 29th.

Longwood was actually looking for even more first-year students.

“While we were hoping to enroll a few more freshmen, I am pleased with the combined number of freshmen and transfers,” said Sallie McMullin, dean of admissions. “We'll be able to serve them well and maintain our low student-to-faculty ratio.”

The SAT mid-range of the enrolling LU freshmen is 960-1100. The GPA mid-range is 3.06-3.62. “Both figures are consistent with the last several years,” McMullin said.

About 31 percent of the freshmen come from the Northern Virginia area. Richmond- and Hampton Roads-area students each represent 21 percent of the class.

“I am confident that these new students will thrive as they become immersed in Longwood's culture of academic excellence and student engagement,” said McMullin. “Their Longwood experience will serve as a catalyst to their success as students, employees and citizen leaders.”

The number of new international students has grown from six to 13-the largest-ever freshman class of international students-and 14 international students are returning this fall. All are degree-seeking students.

The new international students are from countries including Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, England and Switzerland.

Longwood's English as a Second Language (ESL) program began in January 2012 but already has grown to an expected enrollment of atleast 18. “We anticipate enrolling two-thirds of these students,” said Patti Trent, director of international admissions. One of the new international students this fall first participated in Longwood's ESL program.

“We have gone from a handful of international applications to more than 50 applications for the 2012-13 academic year,” said Trent. “This is the result, in part, of our recruitment efforts last fall.”

In addition to international students seeking degrees at Longwood, several others are on campus as part of academic exchanges. These include six from Anhui University of Technology in China, which has sent primarily business students to Longwood since 2004, and three each from Oldenburg University in Germany and the University of Nantes in France, both of which are new Longwood partners, said Dr. Robert Frank, director of international affairs.

Several student organizations help with the move-in process, including the Movers & Shakers, the Peer Mentors, resident assistants, desk aides and supervisors in residence halls, as well as residence education coordinators. Also during move-in, tents staffed by faculty and staff volunteers provide hospitality to students and families. Classes for the fall semester began Monday, Aug. 20.

H-SC is hosting a huge kick-off day for students-C-Day-on Tuesday, September 4, that will last throughout the day, involving alumni and other members of the college family.

C-Day will focus on six Cs:

Convocation-coming together formally at the beginning of the academic year to celebrate achievement, to reaffirm the commitment to the college's mission and to strengthen the communal bond.

Calling-through engagement activities and introspective breakout sessions, students will consider their interests, skills and passions, which can lead them to involved and fulfilled collegiate and professional lives.

Career-preparatory discussions to help students understand potential career paths and their connection to the liberal arts curriculum and to on-campus and off-campus opportunities.

Community-being involved in one's community is an important part of becoming a good citizen. Through community service projects, H-SC students develop a better understanding of the world beyond the college gates.

Ceremony-the college recognizes the importance of education and the college's mission through traditions and formal events that build the special character of H-SC.

Celebration-college should be fun. Yes, a well-rounded education is key but the experience of learning, athletics, camaraderie and service should be enjoyable. C-Day celebrates the complete college experience.