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Change is inherent

Inherent in the life cycle of a college is change. Each fall about 30% of the students on campus are new and occasional members of the faculty and staff are beginning their Davis & Elkins College journey as well. The result is a dynamic environment that resists “sameness” and promotes creativity and opportunity.

In the world of College admissions, the recruitment of the 2020 freshmen class has begun long before the 2019 class has moved into their residence halls. While not all students considering D&E for their collegiate experience are coming directly from high school, the vast majority fit this “traditional” mold. Whether at open house events on campus for prospective students or individual visits, I always find it invigorating and fascinating to talk with these teenagers and their parents. While they come at times with a bit of apprehension, they are often refreshing in their energy and optimism for the next chapter of their lives that is about to unfold.

The search to find the college or university that is the right fit is an important one. At D&E, we always tell prospective students to follow their hearts as they visit campuses and come to know the personalities of an institution.

Davis & Elkins is the wrong fit if a student is searching for an enormous institution, as we are a small college that prides ourselves on personalized attention. If an urban setting is the desire, our location is quite different in a small town surrounded by the beautiful Appalachian mountains. Though we offer 39 majors, a prospective student desiring an academic program we do not have necessitates he or she keep looking for the perfect fit. Finally, the student hoping to “blend into the woodwork” and hide in a residence hall room will not excel at D&E. This campus is an interactive environment where residence hall rooms are intended only for studying and sleeping. The classroom, the theatrical stage, the sorority suite, the athletic field, the work-study or internship placement, and the interaction at the dining hall are the places where the transformative education of D&E occurs.

This past Saturday, the Great Hall of Halliehurst was full of prospective students and their families attending our October Open House. We had students from Elkins, many counties across West Virginia, and several states across the United States. They came for many reasons, but each was exploring if Davis & Elkins College might be the ideal fit for a collegiate experience that would transform their lives and prepare them for their vocation and career resulting in a life of meaning and purpose.

Many of those students sitting in Halliehurst last Saturday will follow their hearts to D&E. The wooded campus and hallowed grounds will serve as their home away from home for a time, and provide experiences and opportunities second to none. Their life journey will bring them to the mountains of Randolph County, and they will experience the transformative nature of a college that is a perfect fit.

The journey continues…