STERLING, Kan., Sept. 21 2006—Vice President for Enrollment Dennis Dutton announced a 45 percent increase in new student enrollment this year, making this the largest entering new student class in Sterling College’s 119 year history.
This year’s freshman class has a total of 205 students, an increase of over 50 students from previous years. Sixty new transfer students were also added to the college campus, bringing the official 20 day head count to a grand total of 607 students. The third largest total enrollment numbers in SC’s history.
Dutton said the record new student enrollment is related to initiatives prompted by President Douglas. “First of all, faculty involvement in the recruiting process has never been greater,” he explained. “Faculty have really taken ownership of building their programs and were in touch with most of our future students through email, phone calls and letters in addition to meeting with them when they visited campus.
One student who responded to such efforts was Clif Reichenborn, the valedictorian of his Goddard High School class last spring. He was impressed with the school’s effort. “The professors knew my name before I even got here.”
Another reason given for the increased enrollment were additional scholarships funded by Dr. Douglas along with two of his colleagues totaling over $250,000 to attract quality academic students like Reichenborn. These additional monies helped meet the financial need for numerous students.
“Dennis Dutton and his staff deserve credit and approbation for bringing to our campus a wonderful group of students,” said President Bruce Douglas. “Our admissions team has the ability to communicate at every level and attract the young women and men who will excel in our Christ-centered environment.”
Through the new recruiting initiatives Sterling continued to hold true to its Christian perspective. Freshman Kim Kenton, Poway, Calif., heard about Sterling through Darryl Nuss, a Sterling College graduate and Board of Trustee member from California. Kim came from a high school of 3,000 students. “I knew I wanted something different for college – something small, personal and Christian – a place where people would reach out and be open,” she explained.
“Sterling was the only out-of-state college I considered. All of my friends were surprised at my decision. I even had a ‘Going to Oz’ party before I left! I really have peace that Sterling is the place God wants me to be.”
The college also attracts students from similar small town places. Ashley Dowgwillo from St. Francis, KS explained her decision to attend Sterling, “I knew I was meant to be at Sterling the moment I stepped onto campus for my visit last year. The people, the classes and the atmosphere were all amazing. It’s going to be a blast to be involved here – everything from cheering on the football team to acting on the stage!”
Sterling also attracted more students from a variety of places this year. Though the number of new students from Kansas is higher than usual, 58 percent of the new student body came from out-of-state. Twenty-two states along with Germany and Korea are represented in the new student ranks. Both California and Florida have been added to Sterling’s usual top states of Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.
Males also outnumber females 59 to 41 percent, thanks in large part to the Warrior football team topping out at over 130 players.