For the fifth consecutive year, Freed-Hardeman University is reporting a record-breaking number of undergraduate students enrolled for the fall semester, according to FHU President David R. Shannon. The total of 1,850 undergraduates includes 1,207 who are filling residence halls to near capacity. Even with the reopening of Paul Gray Hall this year, only 27 dorm rooms remain vacant.
This year’s total enrollment of 2,283 includes students from 34 states and 25 countries. The undergraduate full-time equivalency (FTE) of 1,632 is also an all-time high. Five- and six-year graduation rates have set or tied university records and exceeded national averages. Retention rates also have surpassed national rates by about 10%.
Provost and Vice President of Academics C.J. Vires credits the welcoming campus culture and a supportive faculty and staff for the high retention rate. “The campus culture at FHU provides a place where students feel welcomed and valued. In addition, the faculty and staff offer the love and support needed to help students achieve their goals,” he said.
"We are grateful for and thrilled about the continuing growth of our student body,” Shannon said. “There is much to be excited about at FHU.” Among the reasons he listed are the very successful fundraising campaign, dubbed FHU NEXT. Already the campaign has allowed for renovating Paul Gray Hall; the upcoming groundbreaking of a new dining hall which will include a Chick-fil-A®; establishing Laurel Cottage, an on-campus hospitality house; and beginning two new programs this fall, physical therapist assistant and a Doctor of Ministry.
In addition, Shannon pointed out, plans are underway for renovations of Loyd Auditorium and Wallace-Gano Dining Hall. The dining hall will become the Saunders Center, which will house the ATPI Center for Digital Innovation. ATPI will accommodate at least nine new academic programs that are currently in the planning stages.
“We are so grateful to all of our generous donors. They are truly valuable assets to our work, and we pray God’s blessings on them,” Shannon said.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associates, bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral degrees.