With an early start to the fall semester, Hesston College welcomed back their students, faculty and staff this weekend. Opening festivities included lively events, Lark traditions, and a move back to an upgraded campus.
President Joe Manickam delivered a message to the Hesston College community bringing life to this year’s theme, “God is Love.” Manickam spoke of living in community with one another and the broad depth of the term ubuntu. It is an ancient term originating from South Africa which means, “I am because we are.” Manickam continued that ubuntu is the understanding that “what happens to the one impacts the all and what happens to the all impacts the individual.”
His talk was followed by a performance by the Bel Canto Singers.
As tradition goes on the Hesston College campus, Mod Olympics are part of the kick off to the new school year. Students team up with their campus roommates and play games for bragging rights and laughs. This year, students teamed up for a Hungry Hungry Hippo showdown in which teammates became “hippos” by rolling out bellies down on wheeled boards equipped with laundry baskets for scooping up the best prizes. Other activities included a campus picnic for staff, faculty and students, orientation and a COVID-safe move-in process.
The move back to campus will be met with new options this fall. Dorming juniors and seniors will have the option of living in new apartments at Kauffman Court. Three units formerly used as “mods” have been transformed into shared apartment units equipped with a kitchen and other common areas.
At the dedication of these new apartments, Deb Roth, vice president of student life, spoke about the housing needs of Hesston College’s bachelor degree-earning students. “The question was, ‘What can we do to improve the living options for our juniors and seniors to ensure they have a place that is right for them,’” Roth said.
Last year, Hesston’s student life department spoke with graduating and transferring sophomores about how to improve life on campus. It became clear that housing options towards independent living would benefit their future. “And here we are with the results of these meetings just a few months later,” Roth said.
The 2022-23 opening weekend was a kick-off to the many firsts that Hesston College will witness this year. Along with the new housing options, the first junior cohort of Engineering students will begin taking classes.