Universities add community service to welcoming
For immediate release
August 16, 1999
By LORETTA FULTON
Senior Staff Writer, Abilene-Reporter News
Article courtesy of the Abilene
Community service is a privilege, not a punishment, for
local college students, and incoming freshmen will get a
dose of it this week as they are welcomed to town for the
Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons and McMurry
universities are holding orientation sessions this week for
freshmen. For the first time, community service is a part of
the orientation at all three universities.
"We get all the freshmen involved in going out into the
community," said Ken Morton, director of student activities
and campus recreation at McMurry.
McMurry has combined community service with its freshman
orientation for several years through its Servant Leadership
program. But it will be a new experience for 1,100 freshmen
at Abilene Christian and more than 275 at
"That's part of ACU - serving," said Bruce Beaver, a
Beaver said the community service introduces freshmen to
ACU's mission, which stresses educating students for
Christian leadership. ACU students will do service projects
from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Friday.
Beaver and three other ACU upperclassmen helping with
orientation all agreed "Welcome Week" is vital to getting a
good start in college.
"My best friends that I'll have for my whole life I met
during Welcome Week," said Blake Berryhill, a senior.
Others said it's an opportunity to give back to the
school they love, as well as living their Christian
"We are serving God through serving the students," said
Chris Clark, a junior.
Welcome Week begins today at ACU, with registration from
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Opening ceremonies will be held at 1:30 p.m.
At Hardin-Simmons orientation begins with registration at
9 a.m. Tuesday. McMurry's VisionQuest will begin
Theme for this year's orientation week at Hardin-Simmons
is "Taste the Excitement." Activities are planned to make
new students feel at home, said Tracy Bruton, assistant
director for orientation week.
"Orientation is designed to make the students feel
comfortable and become familiar with the campus," Bruton
said. "It is a good time for the students to get adjusted
and have fun."
Some of the activities this week include the President's
Picnic from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday and a banquet at 6:45 p.m.
Hardin-Simmons students will do their community service
projects from 2-5 p.m. Friday, followed by dinner and a pep
McMurry has registered 310 freshmen, its largest class in
several years, for VisionQuest. Activities begin with moving
into the dorms at 11 a.m. Wednesday. A highlight of the week
will be taking part in the Challenging Outdoor Personal
Experience or COPE program at Camp Tonkawa near Buffalo Gap
Freshmen will spend the afternoon taking part in the COPE
exercises and will return to campus at 6 p.m.
Another favorite at McMurry is the Slime Olympics set for
4 p.m. Friday in Wah Wahtaysee park on campus. Comedy Sportz
will perform from 8:30-10 p.m. in the Mabee Room of the
On Sunday night a back to school dance, featuring the
Austin band "The Pictures" will be held in the Mabee
Volunteering to help with orientation week is considered
a privilege by upperclassmen at all three universities. They
see it as an opportunity to return a favor they received
their first year.
"It's a way we can show we care about these freshmen,"
said Kendra Pulliam, a senior at ACU.
Loretta Fulton can be reached at 676-6778 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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