New Faces and a New Era

More than 300 new students hailing from 11 states and six countries began classes at Brenau University’s Women’s College this fall.

The freshmen make up close to 40 percent of the entire residential student body at Brenau. With a cumulative 3.49 grade point average (out of 4.0) and an average SAT score of 1022 out of 1200, they are among the brightest crop of students to ever walk down the university’s hallowed halls.

Amber Urso, a music performance first-year student at Brenau, laughs with her family as she moves into her dorm room. Urso said she's wanted to come to Brenau since she was in the seventh grade and particiapted in an honors chorus performance at the school.
Amber Urso, a music performance first-year student at Brenau, laughs with her family as she moves into her dorm room. Urso said she’s wanted to come to Brenau since she was in the seventh grade and participated in an honors chorus performance at the school.

“I’d say that this is one of the most qualified entering classes we have had in years, with more Honors-qualified students than before,” said Brenau’s Vice President of Enrollment Management Ray Tatum.

Among the new students calling Brenau home is Amber Urso, an 18-year-old musical performance major from Gainesville, Georgia. She said she has looked forward to becoming a Golden Tiger since she first set foot in the Pearce Auditorium in the seventh grade. “I knew ever since I saw the beautiful campus and the theater that I wanted to go to Brenau,” she said.

Another newcomer is Decatur High School grad Gloria Clark. The 18-year-old nursing major is attending Brenau on a track scholarship. “I hope to transform into a young woman and be prepared for whatever life offers me,” she said.

Junior organizational leadership major and peer assistant Emily Burgess took note of both the diversity and the cordiality of the new Women’s College students.

“It’s going to make for a very interesting and culturally competent class,” she said. “They aren’t afraid to branch out to people who are different from them, which is really awesome.”

Amanda Lammers, vice president of student services, said the university is working hard to blend student activities and academics so that freshman get a well-rounded start to their collegiate careers. That includes a first-year seminar focusing heavily on the civil rights movement, complete with readings of a graphic novel based on the life of Georgia politician and civil rights leader John Lewis and an innovative Reacting to the Past role-playing game that lets students act out pivotal moments of the era in class.

“It’s a great mix of diversity and geographic areas,” Lammers said of the Class of 2019. “I’m so excited to work with these students.”

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