August 12, 2009
UNC Asheville is preparing to welcome some 645 new Bulldogs to its ranks this Friday as freshmen move onto campus. Fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 17.
"The Class of 2013 is one of the larger classes," noted Barkley Barton, senior assistant director of Admissions. "And the overall academic profile of this class is very strong – among their ranks are several valedictorians and many truly outstanding students with high grade point averages and great college entrance test scores."
This new freshmen class will check into residence halls from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14. Some 80 UNC Asheville faculty, staff, alumni, upperclassmen and College for Seniors members will be on hand to help freshmen and their parents with the move. Returning students will move in on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15-16.
A highlight of the freshmen's first day on campus will be a formal convocation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, on UNC Asheville's Quad. Initiated in 1985 at UNC Asheville, convocation is rooted in ancient academic tradition. The ceremony will include the presentation of the Class of 2013 pin to each freshman, as well as the class dogwood tree, which will be planted on campus. Sam Kaplan, associate professor of mathematics and 2009 recipient of the UNC Board of Governors' Excellence in Teaching Award, will give the keynote address.
New this fall, students will have the option of choosing Religious Studies as their major field of study. The new program, under the direction of Rodger Payne, offers students classes in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Greek and Roman religions and a number of other courses that compliment UNC Asheville's liberal arts mission, said Payne.
"Religious studies considers one of our oldest collective human experiences from a variety of academic disciplines," Payne said. "From music to mathematics, from art and politics, and beyond, each can be examined through the lens of religion. It's nearly the perfect way to encounter the liberal arts."
Payne plans to continue building the program around classes that provide comparative examinations of faith traditions from around the world.
Students in the sciences will find themselves in new, state-of-art laboratories in the recently opened in the Zeis Science & Multimedia Building. While a few classes were held in the $24 million building last spring, this fall will be the first semester that all science and multimedia classes and labs will be held in the new facility, located adjacent to Ramsey Library on the Quad.
The University can now fully capitalize on "the collaborative learning style that showcases how we approach teaching the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)," said Keith Krumpe, dean of Natural Sciences. "The labs are designed like labs in industry; they are all project-based so students can work in teams."
A $9 million renovation to Rhoades Hall, including spaces that were previously occupied by the Chemistry and Biology departments, should be completed in 2011, giving UNC Asheville some of the best undergraduate science facilities in the Southeast, Krumpe said.
When not in class, freshmen – as well as upperclassmen – will be able to enjoy free events in the Weeks of Welcome series, designed to introduce students to campus life. Events this fall include a cookout, a block party, a performance by comedian Eddie Ifft, a rock climbing trip and a leadership conference.