Colleges greeting students with new programs,
For Immediate Release
August 22, 1999
By LORETTA FULTON
Senior Staff Writer
Courtesy of Abilene
The whack of hammers, the smell of paint, and the whir of
new high-tech computer equipment will greet about 10,000
college students as they return to class Monday on Abilene's
Hardin-Simmons, McMurry, and Abilene Christian
universities are set to kick off the 1999-2000 school year
with a variety of new facilities and programs.
At Hardin-Simmons, construction is in progress on two new
buildings, one to house missions programs and the other to
complement the music buildings on campus.
"Excitement is high as we see the construction under way
on the Connally Missions Center and the Lee Hemphill Music
Building," said HSU President Lanny Hall.
At McMurry, the Noel R. and Anita Chapin Art and Pottery
Building should be completed this fall. The building is
located south of the Amy Graves Ryan Fine Arts Center and
next to the Gypsy Ted Gallery.
McMurry also is boasting a new distance learning center
in Jay-Rollins Library, funded by a grant from the
Telecommunications Infra-structure Fund Board. Alicia Wyatt
will head the center, which will serve 90 students at a
The center will provide classrooms and equipment for
faculty use in developing interactive on-line course
materials. The distance learning center also will enhance
McMurry's ability to connect people to educational resources
on campus and from remote locations.
McMurry also is expecting its largest freshman class in
several years with 310 students.
"It's incredible - we're bulging at the seams," said Tom
Jackson, dean of students.
New construction, big enrollments, and new offerings have
school officials bubbling with enthusiasm over a new
"We are excited about the new academic year and being
able to offer cutting-edge technology to our students and
faculty," said McMurry President Robert Shimp.
At Abilene Christian University, students will be
impressed by the new Campus Store in McGlothlin Campus
Center. The facility more resembles a fine department store
than the traditional campus bookstore, and for good
"We're a lot more than a traditional bookstore," store
manager Anthony Williams said during a ribbon-cutting
The store offers trendy gift items, Hallmark cards,
housewares, Christian music and stylish clothing - but no
textbooks. Those are in the basement of the campus
ACU also is boasting a new multicultural enrollment
program, with Aaron Ashford, associate director of
admissions, in charge. The program will specialize in
outreach, admissions counseling, and transition to college
for minority students.
ACU freshmen will receive more attention than ever with
the new First Year Program, with Mark Davis serving as dean.
The purpose of the program is to provide integrated learning
experiences for new students inside and outside the
"The position of dean of the freshman year has been
common in highly selective Ivy League colleges," said Dr.
Royce Money, ACU president. "They know that student success
depends a great deal on building a strong foundation for
learning during the first few months of college."
Other campus highlights include:
McMurry - The university's landmark building,
Radford Auditorium, will undergo a $950,000 renovation
beginning this fall. Three levels of new office space will
house the university's admissions and financial aid
Completed in 1951, Radford Auditorium previously housed
the Student Life Center, but more recently has been used for
concerts and graduation ceremonies.
Hardin-Simmons - In addition to new facilities,
Hardin-Simmons students will find a new audio/visual foreign
language computer lab located in Abilene Hall and funded by
the Vernon L. and Elizabeth Kirk Haggerton Estate.
Using the language lab at Texas Tech as a prototype, the
Hardin-Simmons lab contains 24 workstations to aid in
teaching French, German, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish.
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or call 915-674-2692 (cell phone: 665-5469).
- Last update: August 23, 1999
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