According to numbers gathered on Sept. 16, the 20th day of classes for the 2013 fall semester, Emporia State reached the highest increase in student enrollment among any of the regent universities. A celebration was held Sept. 28 in the Plumb Hall rotunda to celebrate the increased in both graduate and freshmen students, 20 and 12 percent, respectively.
“We wanted our total enrollment to move over the 6,000 mark, and we did 6,033 total,” said Jim Williams, vice president of student affairs.
Williams attributed “better marketing, a strong positive academic and social experience, and ESU really articulating the strong outcomes for students,” to the growth of the university’s student population this semester.
The residence halls are filled, with nearly 100 more students living in the Towers Complex, as well as Singular and Morse Halls. Elementary undergraduate enrollment also grew 12 percent since last year. The graduate program in the College of Liberal Arts and Science experienced a gain of 43 percent, with “a 151 percent increase in students enrolled in the online mathematics master’s degree program,” according to a university press release.
The same press release stated, “At 73 percent, retention — measured by the number of freshmen in Fall 2012 who returned in fall 2013 — rose more than 4 percent from the baseline set by fall 2010 freshmen.”
Brooke Sage, freshman athletic training major, said he thinks ESU is doing a good job recruiting.
“I think it is very fair play to get into ESU so plenty of people can get a college experience,” Sage said.
He said he hopes to get involved in “E-Team” in the upcoming months.
At the celebration, President Michael Shonrock thanked those who contributed to the university’s increase – including students who participated in Postcard Palooza, the Emporia community members who made phone calls during the Hornet Telethon and alumni who attended Hornet Nights.
With the year of ESU’s 150th anniversary coming to a close, the Media and Marketing Relations office launched a new recruitment campaign, “I am a Hornet,” last August. Williams said he isn’t worried about keeping numbers up for the future.
“We have the momentum in the students, faculty and staff,” he said. “We have support from our alumni, and we have a campus passion to continue to get our message out.”