ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) –
South Carolina State University welcomed in nearly 750 freshmen Wednesday.
The morning kicked off with an assembly that was standing room only. Interim President Dr. W. Franklin Evans spoke to students and parents about the opportunities the university promises to provide. He said this was the largest crowd of freshman he’s addressed in three years.
“Our future is bright,” Evans said. “It’s brighter than ever before. I think we’ve got people engaged. And all of the talk, everything that’s centered on South Carolina State, the negative as well as the good, has gotten us to this point.”
South Carolina State needed to enroll 2650 students for the 2015-2016 school year to receive the funding outlined in this year’s budget. Monday, the board learned the goal had been met and then surpassed.
As of Wednesday, 2685 students were enrolled. University staff and the board of trustees expects that number to climb into the fall.
“Things are just going our way,” Evans said. “And we’re so excited, we needed that.”
Following the assembly, students got their keys and started moving into the dorms.
“It feels like home here,” said incoming freshman Brandi McCoy. “I was excited to come here. My family came here. It’s like a tradition for me.”
McCoy said she never worried that SACS would pull South Carolina’s State accreditation. Following in the steps of grandparents and two aunts, she said South Carolina State has always been her university of choice.
“My major is agricultural business,” McCoy said. “I’m actually coming here off an ROTC scholarship, so I’m going to do big things.”
SC State officials said it has plans for a bright future too.
“That will require some positive adjustments, and we’re looking at ways to expand what we’re capable of doing, while at the same time focusing on different areas,” said Trustee James Clark. “Now we don’t know exactly what those areas will be, or at least we’re not saying what those
areas will be, but we want to make sure we find some areas where we’re absolutely number one in the state and potentially number one in the country.”
Welcome week continues for freshman, and current students move in Sunday.