MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT/SIDELINES) – This is a big weekend for Middle Tennessee State University.
Friday morning the school’s new $65 million, 211,000 square foot Student Union opened to visitors. The facility boasts a ballroom, movie theater, restaurants, game room, bookstore, and a 700-plus seat dining hall.
Sarah Sudak is Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life.
“This is, for lack of a better word, a living room for students. So this is where students are going to come who want to hang out both inside and outside.”
Also Friday morning, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee welcomed more than 900 faculty members back to campus during the 2012 fall faculty meeting.
Dr. McPhee began by recounting some of the highlights of the previous school year, pointing to the completion of a new building for the College of Education and the start of construction on a new science building.
McPhee then turned to challenges facing MTSU as the new school year begins, noting that the state legislature recently changed the funding formula for higher education in Tennessee. In the future, schools like MTSU will be funded based on student retention, rather than student recruitment.
“It makes it more important – more than ever – for us to focus upon attracting more students who are best equipped for college, and as such are more likely to graduate. And it becomes even more critical that we develop support systems – effective support systems – that will help all of our students to succeed.”
Classes at MTSU officially get underway Saturday. Staff and faculty will help students move in during the school’s annual “We-Haul” day.
On Sunday, Convocation will be held in Hale Arena beginning at 2 pm. This year’s speaker will be author and adventurer Tori McClure. McClure will speak about becoming the first woman to cross the Atlantic in a rowboat.
Monday will be the first full day of classes at MTSU. The university is expecting well over 26,000 students as the school year begins.