Nat King Cole in his 1963 hit urged listeners to “roll out those lazy, crazy days of summer, those days of soda and pretzels and beer.” But not on St. Andrews University’s campus where the students may be gone, but an energized and focused agenda is beginning to take place.
Between the admissions department and coaches in the athletic department, about 10 sports camps and multiple admissions events will eventually bring in as many as 500 students, athletes and their parents to Laurinburg beginning in June.
Admissions has developed what they call FAB Days—Financial, Advising, Business. Two sessions in June and two in July will accommodate about 200 incoming first-year students as they complete necessary forms and arrangements including registration for their initial classes in the fall semester. The idea, both for students and their parents, is to ease the transition process and initiate a “fabulous start” to their college career.
Each FAB day (June 8, 22; July 13, 20) also features an open house for tours, etc. In addition to the scheduled admissions events, drop-ins and “those on the way to the beach” will arrive on campus with visitors and tours almost every day.
According to Teresa Wilson, director of admissions, “Summer visits for families and potential students are prolific after July 4. Visits pick up and we welcome families from across the U.S. almost daily to our campus. The importance of sharing not only what St. Andrews can offer, but the beauty and accessibility of the surrounding area such as Scotland County is important as we make that first impression.”
When they meet with incoming students and families, each is given a portfolio containing information about Laurinburg including restaurants, hotels, shopping areas and even vehicle maintenance.
Admissions is a vital aspect of the campus during the summer while on the other side of the lakes, athletic coaches are preparing for camps—lots of them. Sports campers, families and even their coaches are here to see what is happening. Wrestling, girls and boys basketball, boys soccer, volleyball and softball dominate with as many as 300 or more participating.
Joe Baranik, SAU Wrestling coach, anticipates about 60 young wrestlers signing up for his camp (July 8-12), coming from North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Florida. He says, “It is a great way to show off St. Andrews and Laurinburg plus a great recruiting tool for us introduce future wrestlers to our program.”
Womens’ basketball runs three camps (June 10-13, 14-15, 22-23) for many levels and skills, perhaps with as many as 100 girls attending. Coach Kelsey Long says, “We want our camps to be a community outreach opportunity for our athletes and the university. We recruit high quality, high character and strong academic kids and though our campus we are able to show the community and campers the type of team we have at SAU and for us to see potential talent from the surrounding areas.”
Men’s basketball coach Randy Hernandez is expecting 10 teams each bringing their coaches and eight to 10 players from each of those schools including Scotland County, Fayetteville, Lumberton and Raleigh where they integrate skills and team competition. He says, “The impact to our university will be to explore our location which many parents and students may not know about.”
Add to that a girls’ volleyball camp (June 18-21), boys’ soccer camp with (June 12-15) and girls’ softball (June 27-28) and the campus is bustling with activity with incoming students and young athletes from around and outside North Carolina and numerous locations with stopovers in Laurinburg.
Probably hot but clearly not lazy days at St. Andrews will keep the admissions and coaching staff busy as they continue to attract future students and their families to experience what St. Andrews affirms is a “traditionally different” university in the heart of Scotland County.
Dr. James R. Henery, interim director of communications with St. Andrews University, wrote this week’s Focus on Scotland, an effort by community leaders on making Laurinburg/Scotland County a better place to work, live, and play.