As Emmanuel College alumni gather to celebrate the 91st homecoming the first weekend in October, they are welcomed to an overflowing campus.
A boost in fall enrollment raises the student head count to 762, an increase of 40 students from last year. According to EC President Michael Stewart, the influx of new students has been most evident in the residence housing, which is filled to capacity.
“The residence halls are overflowing. We have 40 more students then we have regular residence beds,” he says. “We are using rental houses and trailers to house all the students. We had to stop admitting resident students because we had no space left anywhere.”
President Stewart says numbers for 2010 are up in all categories, including residents, commuters and IPHC students. He attributes this jump in enrollment to an increase in strategic marketing as well as the addition of many new scholarships.
“We are doing a better job in telling our story that Emmanuel has quality academics, vibrate spiritual life, extensive student life, and an affordable price,” President Stewart explains. “We also have added many new scholarships. Emmanuel will give back over $2 million to its students this year in grants and scholarships.”
Plans are under way to build a new residence hall for the growing student population thanks to a $1 million donation from alumni Robert and David Roberson. The groundbreaking ceremony is Saturday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m. at the construction site adjacent to Wellons Science Resources Center and Wellons Hall. The state-of-the-art 47,000-square-foot residence hall will have 90 single-occupancy rooms (or a maximum capacity of 130 students) and will be ready next fall.
"As highly successful businessmen, developers, and investors in Raleigh, N.C., Robert and David’s desire is to leave a legacy for future generations to experience the transformational power of Jesus Christ through Emmanuel College," President Stewart says. "They, along with more than 35 members of their immediate families, attended Emmanuel. Robert served on the Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, chairing various committees during some of the college’s most critical years, and David currently serves on the Board as Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee.
"Without fanfare and without any attempt to impress anyone, the Roberson brothers’ desire is solely to glorify God. The College has made a positive mark on them and their families, and now they wish to leave a similar mark—a legacy—for others who will come behind them," he says.
During their visit to campus, alumni will also see landscaping improvements for the new Student Reading Plaza next to the library on Hwy. 29. That is possible because of a matching challenge gift of $25,000 given in July.
Future plans for EC also include a new athletic complex, academic building and student union. "We are in an aggressive growth mode. We are adding new majors each year and building new buildings," President Stewart says. "We thank the Lord for His favor and blessings. The best is yet to come.”
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