Rising on the south side of the MTSU campus, the next coming attraction — the 257,000-square-foot Science Building just off Alumni Drive — is being completed by construction crews for future science students.
Some of the very next generation, prospective students who will enter this fall and would be in the class of 2018, viewed the magnificent exterior of the $147 million structure and heard glowing reports of its features during Spring Preview Day featuring science Saturday (March 22).
Spring Preview Day is MTSU’s signature open house for prospective students and their families. This campus visit program included department presentations, opportunities to meet faculty and staff from academic areas and student affairs and campus tours.
For most of the visitors, it also provided a first glimpse of the Science Building, which is located adjacent to James E. Walker Library.
“I thought it was pretty amazing,” said Marious Freeman of Nashville, a John Overton High School senior and Concrete Industry Management program prospect, visiting with his mother, Lisa. “I fell in love with it.”
“It’s gorgeous — and it’s huge,” said Murfreesboro’s Margaret Stubblefield, a Central Magnet School sophomore who will be participating in dual-enrollment classes at MTSU this summer and plans to study chemistry. Joined by her father, Jim Stubblefield, for the visit, Margaret said she will get to utilize the building at the end of 2015.
As they walked from the area near the new Science Building to the much older Wiser-Patten Science Hall and Davis Science Building, alumnus Jim Stubblefield told his daughter the latter two buildings were “where I took my science classes in the 1970s.”
Aviance Murphy of Memphis, Tenn., a senior at Middle College High School, liked what she saw, especially “since this is my No. 1 choice of schools.”
Murphy attended the preview day with her mother, Erica Murrell, and four other family members.
“I can’t wait to go on the inside and touch things and get started,” Murphy added, alluding to the fact no interior tours could be conducted because of safety concerns and the size of the turnout for the event.
Blackman High School junior Austin King said he “loved how they included the horseshoe shape” of the building. He visited along with his mother, Terri King.
Including 276 students, a total of 672 people attended the preview day.
“I’m excited about it (Science Building). It looks really good,” said Jalen Martin of Dyersburg, Tenn., a senior at Dyer County High School and a first generation college student planning to study biology in order to later study pre-med in anticipation of becoming a pediatrician.
Martin’s mother, Nola, called the facility “gorgeous and impressive.” She said future users “will get a lot of good use out of it.”
Admissions officials and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer were extremely pleased with the results of the event.
“We could show Basic and Applied Sciences’ hands-on experiences as well as our own students,” said Fischer, noting computer science helped the prospective students make an app and they were shown robotics; chemistry students made ice cream and provided entertainingly colorful chemical reactions; aerospace presented its air traffic control simulation center; concrete industry chair Heather Brown made coasters; and more.
Melinda Thomas, admissions recruiting director, said Saturday’s preview day marked the first time MTSU could show the Student Services and Admission Center and MT One Stop to a large group of visitors. The facility opened two weeks ago.
The building houses admissions, tours and records on the first floor. The second-floor MT One Stop handles student concerns regarding financial aid, scholarships, bills, scheduling, transcripts and more.
A second MTSU Spring Preview Day will be held Saturday, June 7.
Thomas said now is “the perfect time to start their (college) search” and visit MTSU in June.
To contact admissions, call 615-898-2111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about tours, call 615-898-5670 or email email@example.com.
Admissions has a new website, http://mtsu.edu/how-to-apply/. Click on “EXPLORE” and then “Schedule a Visit” to learn more about daily campus tours, group and self-guided tours, traveling directions to MTSU and to RSVP for special events including preview and True Blue Experience days.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)