Yahoo News – August 29, 2011
Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Mars Hill College is pleased to announce a 34% increase in new student enrollments over last year, and the largest number of new student enrollments in the past 30 years! The college attributes its success to an aggressive physical plant expansion as well as expanded athletic offerings and the introduction of the institution’s first graduate degree program.
Mars Hill, NC (PRWEB) August 29, 2011
Under the leadership of President Dr. Dan Lunsford, Mars Hill College is pleased to announce not only the completion of the most successful capital campaign in the college’s history, but also the institution’s largest enrollment growth in 30 years!
When Dr. Lunsford assumed the presidency of Mars Hill College in 2002, he initiated the most successful capital campaign in the college’s history, raising more than $38 million against an aggressive goal of $35 million, which he invested in an aggressive plan to make improvements to the physical plant. Improvements on the college’s campus include the design and construction of the Ferguson Math and Science Building, and the renovation of the Wall Academic Center, the Nash Education Building, and the Lion’s Eye courtyard. Students are particularly excited about the complete renovation of the Brown and Turner residence halls, and the construction of the new Bailey Mountain residence hall, which will provide comfortable academic living quarters for the college’s residential students.
Technology upgrades also abound, with the recent addition of wireless internet access across campus, and Mars Hill College isn’t done yet. The growth of the physical plant continues as planning for the next round of upgrades to the campus have already begun, including renderings for a brand new classroom building that will also house administrative offices and a new bookstore.
Going forward, athletics play an important role in the growth of Mars Hill College. The Ammons Family Stadium Complex recently received a major renovation, which included the addition of a new, high tech turf field and a new press box. The college has also expanded its athletic offerings, with the introduction of men’s and women’s swimming and cycling. The men’s cycling team actually captured the national championship in 2011, during the programs third year in existence.
The newly renovated Nash Education Building will play host to Mars Hill’s first graduate degree program, a Master’s Degree in Education.
After making dramatic improvements to the campus and expanding academic and co-curricular offerings at Mars Hill College, Dr. Lunsford sought to grow the enrollment. Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the beautiful campus had plenty of room for enrollment growth so Dr. Lunsford partnered with John W. Dysart, president of The Dysart Group, Inc. to change the characterization of the College from the “the best kept secret in North Carolina.” The Dysart Group, Inc. is a higher education enrollment consulting firm headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Working with the professionals in the admission and financial aid offices, some major changes were made to increase the awareness of the College throughout the state and region. A new marketing strategy was adopted with an emphasis on the success of MHC graduates. Institutional scholarship and grant programs were re-vamped to better recognize academic talent and meet financial need. The admission counselors utilized aggressive outreach to prospective students to educate them about the benefits of Mars Hill College. Messages were sent via telephone, email, direct mail, Facebook and text. As students found out more about MHC, they responded!
The college secured the largest number of applications in the institution’s history, and more students were accepted for admission than ever before. New student enrollments are up an astounding 34% over 2010, and the institution enrolled the highest number of new students in 30 years!
It has been an exciting nine years for the President. Dr. Lunsford, however, is not done yet. With the planned addition of a new classroom building and bookstore, as well as a continued focus on recruiting students with the potential for success, Dr. Lunsford plans to continue enrollment growth and product enhancements over the next few years.