Fall Enrollment Keeps Record Pace

August 25, 2004

Increasing interest in Mary Baldwin University’s graduate and adult degree programs helped the college keep pace with record enrollment set last fall. Mary Baldwin opened the year September 6 with almost 200 graduate students and more than 2,000 undergraduates at its historic campus in Staunton and at five regional centers across the state. Beginning its 163rd year ranked byU.S. News & World Reportin the top tier of master’s level universities in the South for the third consecutive year, Mary Baldwin welcomed more than 2,230 students — close to last year’s record-setting number of 2,240.

GRADUATE STUDENTS WORK WITH A VISITING SCHOLAR IN THE BLACKFRIARS THEATREEnrollment continues to boom in the master’s program inShakespeare studies, begun just three years ago and offered in partnership with Shenandoah Shakespeare. The 52 students include 17 newcomers, including the program’s first international student, and seven who will pursue a master of fine arts. The first three students to earn their master of fine arts were rewarded with a ceremonial hooding by actress Dame Judi Dench at the May Commencement. Frank R. Southerington, director of the program and professor of English, said admissions for the unique program that combines scholarship and stagecraft have quickly become very selective, with applicants from around the country.

A MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING STUDENT GIVES A PRESENTATIONThe Master of Arts in TeachingProgram, which last year marked its first decade, has more than 150 students, an increase of about 20 over last year’s record high. Carole C. Grove, its director, credits, among other things, strong recommendations from students, graduates, and school systems hiring those graduates. “The best marketing is word of mouth,” she said, noting that principals in area schools call the program for names of graduating students. The MAT, attracting both recent college graduates seeking initial licensure and seasoned instructors, is offered in Staunton, Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Richmond.

TheBaldwin Online and Adult Programs, one of the oldest in Virginia, enrolled its first students at the new regional center in South Boston, boosting overall enrollment to 1,190. Students in the program can also attend classes in Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke, and Weyers Cave to complete undergraduate studies, postgraduate teacher licensure, or a certificate program.

In Staunton, there are close to 850 students in theResidential Program for Womenwhen classes start. The college welcomed 295 new students, including 254 freshmen and 41 transfer students. The incoming group is exceptional and diverse, chosen from an applicant pool of more than 1,400. About 34 percent of those entering are women of color: African American, Asian American, Hispanic, and Native American.

FRESHMAN STUDENTS LINE UP TO SIGN THE HONOR PLEDGE ON CHARTER DAYThe college’s signature programs continue to be strong. TheProgram for the Exceptionally Giftedhas 22 new students for a total of 75. Each PEG student bypasses all or most of high school to become full-time residential students at Mary Baldwin. TheVirginia Women’s Institute for Leadershipnumbers 131 this year with more than 40 nULLS joining the ranks of the country’s only all-female corps of cadets.

Enrollment figures do not become official until mid September. Unlike the on-campus undergraduate programs, graduate programs and the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs enroll men as well as women.