Enrollment at the Hattiesburg campus is 3,544 (including 411 in the College of Osteopathic Medicine), and 1,150 students are enrolled at the Tradition campus in Biloxi.
This is the third trimester since the January tornado that Carey has seen an increase in enrollment numbers compared to the previous year. Initially the university administration was concerned that the damage to campus would deter students, but they have found that is not the case.
Admissions Director Alissa King said this incoming class will always remain in her memory because of their commitment to Carey under such unusual circumstances.
“Following the devastating tornado, every student’s life being spared was such a blessing and all the inspiration we would need to move forward,” said King. “We are thrilled with enrollment numbers and excited to have the highest number of Carey Scholars in university history. This is a direct result of the tenacity and faith of our outstanding students. Our students make us Carey Strong, and we credit each one of them for the university’s success.”
Carey Scholars is the university’s honors program. This year’s class of 41 Carey Scholars surpasses last year’s record of 36 students. To qualify students must earn a 29 or higher composite score on the ACT or a 1300 on the SAT (math and verbal only). The program promotes advanced academic pursuits, interdisciplinary study, critical thinking, and independent research.
When the tornado hit, the university was finishing the winter trimester and preparing for spring registration. Enrollment during spring trimester increased 1.4 percent and summer enrollment increased 2 percent compared to the same periods last year.
“We are so thankful to the Lord and to our hard-working admissions staff and faculty for this amazing result,” said WCU President Tommy King. “Our university theme for this year, ‘Carey Strong’ has been demonstrated.”
Each year, the university selects a theme as an idea to focus on throughout the year and to unify the campus. The 2017-2018 theme “Carey Strong – God is our Refuge and Strength” is based on Psalm 46:1-2, 11, which is the scripture the pulpit Bible in Bass Memorial Chapel was open to the morning the tornado hit.
Carey began the new school year on August 28. Most buildings on campus have been fully repaired, with the exception of the School of Business, which should be finished in October, and Clinton Gym, which is expected to be ready for basketball season. Construction has started on the new buildings that will replace the five lost in the storm. The new buildings include two dormitories, Tatum Court administrative building, Asbury Academic Building, and an addition to Tatum Theatre. The new buildings are expected to be complete by August 2018.