Students, faculty and staff at St. Andrews University took an hour off from classes Friday to enjoy a campus fish fry as a community to celebrate Founders Day.
“We inaugurated this celebration last year to commemorate the first day of class on the Laurinburg campus,” said President Paul Baldasare. “It was at the event last year that we announced our change of status from a college to a University. In the year since, we have added a Masters in Business Administration Program with plans to add more graduate level programs in the near future. We have also increased our program offerings at our Sandhills location.”
Baldasare also outlined growth in the online education program for adult learners, the addition of men’s and women’s swimming for Fall 2013, the renovation of the campus book store, the upgrade of the training suite for athletics, technology in the science lab and new equipment in the electronic fine arts center. He referenced the first steps taken by the campus to reduce its carbon footprint through a grant that allowed for the purchase of energy conservation shades installed in the William Henry Belk Center.
“We have filled 30 vacant faculty and staff positions, bringing our total employment to approximately 200 full time and part time faculty and staff,” he said. “We welcomed 220 new undergraduates to campus just a few weeks ago. They joined our 240 returning students and another 40 students in the Sandhills, Masters and online programs.”
Baldasare noted the diverse backgrounds of the students, who represent 35 states, nine countries and various religious traditions.
“While the many differences our noteworthy, what strikes me most are the traits you have in common,” he said. “You are independent thinkers, not inclined to follow the crowd. You are open to different points of view and have curious, questioning minds interested in exploring the world around you.
“These characteristics reflect the habits of hearts and minds of faculty, staff and students who have come before you,” he continued. “You are essential members of this community and play a critical role in recreating each day what we consider the St. Andrews Experience.”