Hendrix College started classes Tuesday, welcoming a record number of students to its halls.

Mark Scott, director of media relations for the college, said the school’s fall enrollment exceeded 1,400 for the first time in history.

"That’s exciting when you consider other colleges, even close by, experienced a fall-off in enrollment," he said.

The freshman class, made up of 426 students representing 35 states and six countries, moved on campus Aug. 18. It is the second-largest freshman class ever. Orientation week is a long-standing tradition at Hendrix. New students get the campus to themselves for a full week before the upperclassmen move in so they can gradually acclimate to the college environment, Scott said.

"We determined a long time ago it wasn’t productive to throw the freshmen into the fire as soon as they arrive," he said.

On the Friday of orientation week, new students leave for two-night orientation trips. Options include canoeing, adventure biking, touring Memphis, cave exploring, Habitat for Humanity volunteerism, etc. When they return from the trip, the upperclassmen have already moved in, Scott said.

"It’s kind of a bonding experience," he added.

Following orientation week, school is off to an exciting start, he said. Hendrix does not have summer school at this time, and so employees are glad to see students on campus again.

"Classes have started, and it’s exciting to have a vibrant campus again," he said. "Staff and faculty are excited to see the backpacks and smiling faces return to campus." 

(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by e-mail at rachel.dickerson@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)