Erika Norton & Claire Hadley | Echo
Although upperclassmen are slowly beginning to return to campus, the majority of students moving in have yet to call Taylor home. Of the 1,678 students currently living on campus, 460 of them are freshmen. Also new to campus are 53 students who have transferred from other universities.
As is normal for Taylor, women outnumber men, with 261 freshman females and 199 males. After adding in all the upperclassmen, Taylor is home to 1,922 students.
Breuninger Hall will give an additional 150 students a home this year. Breu, as it has already been dubbed by students, is filled to capacity with a conglomeration of upperclassmen and freshmen who have to opportunity to create a dorm of brand new traditions and culture this year.
Taylor's tradition of diversity is continuing this year. Even though 35.8 percent of freshman are residents of Indiana, 35 states and 17 countries are also represented among the freshmen.
The average SAT score for the freshman class is 1158 for both reading and math, the same as last year. The average freshman's ACT score is a 26 composite score. Of the 460 freshman, 128 students graduated high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Taylor is a continuing tradition for some families, as 112 freshmen have parents or siblings who are alumni.
Four freshmen are attending a university that matches their first name, and three a university that matches their middle name.
At the beginning of Welcome Weekend, all 460 freshmen are divided into orientation groups (O-Groups) to help them get to know members of their own class and have leaders to help them transition into college life.
Djamina Esperance, a sophomore O-Group leader this year, had a great experience with her O-Group her freshman year. "We did things inside of class but also outside of class, and so that really helped with the transition for me," Esperance said. "I just really wanted to do the same for the incoming freshman class."
"I think (Welcome Weekend) is a really good transition point because we keep everyone busy so they realize everything is changing, but at the same time, they don't realize it until they're already doing everything," said sophomore O-Group leader Taylor Murray. "It's like a distraction from this huge change in their life."
Esperance described some of the fun experiences she had with her O-Group last year. "One time, we went to Starbucks and . . . we drove around campus, which was really fun," Esperance said. "Another time, we went to one of our leaders' houses, because she lived close by, and had s'mores."
All fall sports teams, including football, men and women's soccer, women's volleyball and men and women's tennis arrived early for preseason work. The teams not only practiced together, but bonded and had an all-athlete worship session Wednesday night.
Freshman Anna Miller and Meghan Sulka arrived early, along with the rest of the women's soccer team, for early camp. Both are excited to worship more freely and make new friendships here at Taylor.
Sulka said she only knows the soccer team so far, but she's eager to meet more people.
"I'm excited about meeting new people . . . not just making new friends, but knowing that they believe in the same things that I do," Sulka said. "More often than not, you'll get to know people who also share a love for God and have a faith in Jesus Christ, and I think that's really cool."