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Aug. 25, 2010 Volume 32, No. 1

Another record year for MU enrollment

Tim McLaughlin hauls luggage

Tim McLaughlin, development officer for the Mizzou Annual Fund, helps freshman Tori Barbarash move into a residence hall on College Avenue. MU Development and Alumni Relations staff began the tradition of helping students get settled 10 years ago. Nearly 7,000 students will live in campus housing this year. Rachel Coward photo


Minority freshmen top 1,000

The sustained commitment to bring more minority students to the MU campus continues to pay off. Of the 6,160 freshmen who began classes this week, 1,042 are minority — a nearly 33 percent increase over fall 2009.

Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, said targeted financial aid and scholarships, coupled with the collective will to recruit minority students to MU, has created a “critical mass,” leading to steady increases in African-American and Hispanic students in particular. 

“We have a strong commitment to diversity,” Korshgen said, “and it’s paying off.” 

Preliminary figures show a total of 3,951 minority students at MU as the fall 2010 semester gets under way. The university’s first-day enrollment totaled 32,009, including 24,759 undergraduates — both numbers are the highest in the university’s history. The 9.6 percent increase in freshman is also a record. 

Roger Worthington, assistant deputy chancellor and MU’s chief diversity officer, said he was encouraged by the “dramatic pace” of minority enrollment. Diversity is part of the foundation of the university’s mission, he said, and the importance of recruiting and retaining a diverse student body is reflected in the social and intellectual climates on campus.

“It is a testament to MU’s outstanding reputation and recruiting efforts that we have maintained our high standards of admission in the process of attracting the most diverse class of the best and the brightest from the state, the country and the globe,” Worthington said.

The number of students enrolling who received Bright Flight and Curators scholarships has also increased. The number of Bright Flight students enrolled this year, 512, is an 8 percent increase over last year’s enrollment of 474. The number of Curator’s Scholars increased 18.8 percent, to 511 students from 430 last year.

With record numbers of students, MU has had to scramble to provide enough housing. On-campus housing for returning students was capped at 1,900 this year. Meanwhile, Residential Life has paid more than 100 students to opt out of their housing contracts to make room for incoming freshman. 

More than 700 freshmen and returning students are living in off-campus housing leased by the university. For the third year in a row, the university has leased units at privately owned apartment complexes. Both complexes, the 340-unit Tiger Diggs and Mizzou Quads, which has 240 units, are full. The university has also found housing at Liahona House and Prunty Hall at Stephens College.

Some of the 7,000 students who will live in campus housing this year began arriving a week ago and were met by about three dozen members of the MU Development and Alumni Relations staff. Vice Chancellor David Housh started the move-in tradition about 10 years ago, said Tim McLaughlin, a development officer for the Mizzou Annual Fund.

McLaughlin has helped with the cause every year, agreeing to help students haul luggage, bedding and furniture into their residential halls. Clothing styles and technology may change, McLaughlin said, but the “sheer joy and appreciation” expressed by students and their parents are always the same.

“The emotions of moving and being away from home can be stressful to both student and parent,” McLaughlin said. “This is our opportunity to personally welcome their family to our extended MU family.”