CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) -More than 250 new students enrolled at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., Aug. 11. Returning students registered Aug. 13 and Aug. 14. When final numbers are tallied, enrollment should exceed 1,000, school officials say.
New students arrived at the TMC Nix Student Center at 10 a.m. as volunteer faculty and staff assisted students with their belongings.
Incoming freshman Courtney Culpepper said both of her parents attended TMC. Though she was hesitant to visit the campus, Culpepper added that when she toured, she "absolutely loved it."
"There was just no doubt in my mind that this is where God wanted me to be," Culpepper said.
For freshman Leah Garrison, TMC also runs in the family. The third of four siblings in her family to attend TMC, Garrison was looking for a Christian atmosphere and a "small family feel." Her parents, Kevin and Hannah, added that they continue investing in the college because of the spiritual and academic standards.
"It's been a great college for our boys," said Kevin, whose son, Ben, is a 2012 TMC graduate and other son, Josh, a junior.
"We've been very pleased with the academic standards, what President Caner brought to the college, and how it has grown," Kevin said. "[Leah] was looking into nursing and [TMC] just got that nursing degree."
Returning senior Jeremiah Boozer reflected on how Truett-McConnell has played a major role in his spiritual walk with Christ.
"It's where I got saved and found the Lord," said Boozer, who added that since Caner's inauguration, the campus has "changed for the better."
"The Lord is working through the campus for sure," Boozer said. "I've finally found my calling ... I'm just a completely different person than what I used to be thanks to Truett-McConnell. I'm just thankful to have had the opportunity to come here and better myself."
Sophomore and Christian Studies major Morgan Wallace said it's the "atmosphere" and "being around people who are focused on the Lord" that drew her back to TMC.
"[TMC] is a loving place and it's a place where I've learned to thrive," Wallace said. "The faculty is wonderful. They help you and they are always there for you no matter what time of day and night. They'll help you with schedules, studying, [and] with whatever problems you have."
TMC anticipates a great year of academics and spiritual emphasis as classes began Aug. 15 and chapel services Aug. 23.
(L-R) Vicky Kaniaru, Carrie Ann Sienkiewicz, Tim Chapman (seated) and Sean McCanePhotos and videos posted on this page were provided by the TMC Communications staff under direction of Norm Miller.