By EDWARD HUSARHerald-Whig Staff Writer
Area colleges are getting ready to open their doors.
Classes start Monday at Quincy University and John Wood Community College, on Aug. 26 at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., and Aug. 27 at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Mo.
QU and C-SC are both expecting to see bigger-than-usual freshmen classes.
QU announced Thursday it is expecting to welcome 281 freshmen this fall -- its largest freshman class since 1996. The university has seen steadily rising freshman classes in recent years, including 278 freshmen in 2011.
"We're extremely pleased to welcome so many new students to our campus again this year," QU President Robert Gervasi said.
In addition, some changes will greet students arriving at the various institutions. At QU, some lecture halls have been updated; the athletic weight room at Padua Hall and the men's volleyball locker rooms have been renovated; and a new television news set has been installed in the QUTV studio.
Some QU students, including athletes on fall sports teams, started arriving on campus earlier this week. Most freshmen will arrive Friday.
An orientation weekend is planned for them. Included among the events is an opportunity for students to provide volunteer service for various not-for-profit agencies in Quincy.
JWCC will be conducting final registration Friday for students who haven't yet signed up for classes.
A "back to school" barbecue is planned for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 28 in the courtyard behind the Paul Heath Center. Tracy Orne, director of public relations and marketing, said the barbecue not only will be an opportunity for JWCC students to socialize with fellow students and faculty members, but they also will get a chance to sign up for more than a dozen clubs and activities offered on campus.
Orne said the college is rolling out a new "Schools App" that will let students communicate easier with one another through a special side panel on their Facebook pages.
"It's a private community for John Wood students only to let them ask questions of each other or connect with each other based on their major or interests," she said.
The goal is to get students more engaged with others who are striving for successful college careers.
"Because we're not a residential college, we want to provide a ‘virtual community,' if you will, to help support their success," she said.
At HLGU, the T.M. Matthews Science Building will out of service this year because it sustained severe storm damage in May. Part of the building's roof was torn off, and the building sustained water damage on multiple floors.
"We think there's some foundational issues as well," Carolyn Carpenter, director of public relations, said. "So this year that building will not be used at all. It has been cleared out."
Carpenter said university officials brought in four portable classrooms to use for science classes until college officials decide "what we're going to do" with the science building. Two other portable classrooms already on campus also were shifted to the science building site to help fill short-term space needs.
HLGU will be getting the campus ready for the fall semester by hosting an "alumni and friends work day" from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers will meet at the Snack Shack on the first floor of the Burt Administration Building and will be dispatched around campus to work on assorted cleanup and painting jobs.
Carpenter said new students will move in to dorms on Aug. 22. As part of that day's activities, the annual "walk of honor" will be held at 5 p.m. Faculty, staff, upperclassmen, alumni and parents will line the walkway from the Roland Fine Arts Center to the Burt Administration Building, and new students will walk single file as they pass parents and the HLGU family cheering and encouraging them.
Returning students will move into HLGU dorms Aug. 25-26. A variety of activities are scheduled Aug. 26-30 as part of the university's "welcome week."
Culver-Stockton will host "Wildcat Weekend" activities for incoming students Aug. 23-25. New students will check into dorms on the 23rd, while returning students will move in on the 25th.
As part of the weekend activities, C-SC will conduct its fifth annual "extreme dome makeover" community service project on Aug. 24. More than 400 volunteers, including many incoming students, will do painting, cleaning and planting work at 13 public and private sites in Canton.
"It is important for our first-year students to begin their college experience with service because that sets the tone for the next four years," Amanda Sorenson, C-SC's chaplain, said.
Heidi Lanier, a writer/editor in the Office of College Communications, said students arriving on the C-SC campus this fall will find a newly renovated residence hall. The former Ziegler Hall has been converted into a new housing complex, Stone Residence Hall, featuring apartment-style suites. The building also has workout facilities and a media room with weekly housekeeping services provided.
Lanier said the college also is in the process of constructing a new softball field and a television studio. The college also is paving a new entrance to the campus. These projects are expected to be done soon.