The first floor of the David B. Burks American Heritage Building is undergoing renovation. After approval from the board of trustees, a Welcome Center is being built to greet prospective students, parents and guests on campus. The center, located on the site of the Heritage Auditorium and Heritage Inn desk, will include space for admissions, financial aid, and alumni and parent relations.
Steve Lake, vice president of enrollment services, believes this center will better demonstrate the Harding experience to visitors on campus.
“My overall goal for how we recruit is for us to reflect the Harding relational experience,” said Lake. “Everyone talks about how they love the relationships, people, faculty and staff, and dorm life on campus. I believe we have to recruit while reflecting that. It has to be real; it has to be personal.”
The center will provide potential students, alumni and visitors with a comfortable area to meet whether learning more about how they can pursue their education at the University or returning to their alma mater.
“We want anyone stepping on campus to feel welcomed and invited,” said Lake. “It also will provide a space for prospective students to meet with financial aid or admission reps and learn more about what Harding represents.”
Construction for the center began in June and is anticipated to be completed in spring 2022.
In addition to the Welcome Center project, the admissions team expanded, bringing on five more recruiters and restructuring how they operate to better serve guests and personalize their visits.
“Recruiters will now work with the same prospective students from eighth grade through high school so they can build deeper relationships and better serve their needs,” said Lake.
The admissions team also has grown to include several recruiters who work remotely from cities within six hours of Searcy. This will help enhance the University’s presence in those areas and better reach potential students who may not be able to visit campus during the school year. These recruiters are stationed in Dallas, Nashville, Tennessee, and Northwest Arkansas.
As a part of the renovation, the Heritage Inn front desk will be located where public safety was originally housed. Public safety will operate on the first floor of Kendall Hall.