The University of Mount Olive campus will soon be abuzz with activity. New students move-in on August 21, returning students will arrive on August 23, and traditional classes are set to begin on August 24. Parents will, once again, be able to accompany and assist students during the move-in process.
“We are eager to see our campus filled with the excitement and energy that our students provide,” said UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom.
After an unusual recruiting season that limited access to high schools due to COVID-19 restrictions, UMO’s Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Communications Tim Woodard noted the University has seen a significant uptick in the number of newly enrolled freshmen and transfer students during the past two months. “Never before have we seen such traction this late in the season,” Woodard said.
He credits the positive swing to several factors. “Students talk,” he said. “Word of mouth is our best recruiting tool. Our students really appreciated the fact that we were able to offer seated classes and a campus experience last year during the height of the pandemic, and word got around.”
A revision to admissions policies has opened the door and made college more appealing and accessible as well. “For this incoming class, we did not require ACT or SAT testing on our application,” Woodard said.
A big part of any college experience is campus life. Sixty percent of all UMO traditional students are considered residential students. What can these students expect this year? “We’re hoping residence life for students living on campus will return pretty much to normal,” said Nicole Garrett, Director of Campus Life. “Interaction with students by our RA staff is one piece we think is critical to assisting with a student’s transition and success as a college student.”
According to Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics Dr. Dan Sullivan, this year’s academic calendar is planning for a normal schedule with built in fall and Thanksgiving breaks. A fuller slate of events is also on tap. “We’re excited to have students back on-campus again and look forward to offering more programming opportunities in the residential facilities and through our Campus Activity Board,” Sullivan said.
Welcome Week will kick-start the year with activities planned around service, learning, and social opportunities. “A full slate of academic and social events will help students get prepared and excited for the coming academic year,” Sullivan said.
From an athletic perspective, about half of UMO’s traditional student body participate in athletics. After almost two years of disruptive schedules due to COVID-19, UMO is once again looking forward to a full calendar of fall and winter sports. “Our student-athletes work really hard in the classroom and on the fields and courts,” said Vice President for Athletics Jeff Eisen. “They crave competition and enjoy representing the UMO Trojans. Our coaching staff and students are ready to do what they do best!”
Both Eisen and Sullivan note that the University will continue to monitor CDC guidelines throughout the academic year and will modify safety policies and procedures as needed to account for the well-being of students, faculty, and staff.
“The safety and well-being of our students will always be our first priority,” said President Croom. “We are confident in our plans, optimistic for the year ahead, and excited to see the smiling faces of our students return campus. It is indeed a great time to be a Trojan!”