Wednesday, August 21 marks the first day of class for Spartanburg Methodist College. 102 years after first welcoming one valiant student on the very first day of class, the college is now expecting over 520 new freshman students from 8 states (Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, Tennessee and South Carolina) and 5 countries (United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Australia and Brazil) to begin moving onto campus August 16. An additional 300-plus sophomores are set return on August 19.
This year’s incoming freshman class is tolerant, global and technologically hip. Their basic staples of existence include cellphones, electronic organizers, cable radio and hundreds of television stations. They were the first group to come to age as the Internet began. They’ve grown up surfing the internet and texting; watching wars, police arrests and acts of terrorism unfold on TV in real time and have always known the news before the Evening News came on.
Charging a latte with a single swipe or curling up in the corner to read a book on an electronic screen, has never amazed them. Cartoon Network, blue Jell-O and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream have always been a choice for them. Women have always outnumbered men in college; rap music has always been main stream; tattoos have always been chic and highly visible and their Green Giant has always been Shrek.
Having grown up in a politically-correct universe, with multiculturalism as a given, this year’s freshman class is well suited to give back to the Spartanburg community on Saturday, August 17 with the college’s annual Freshman Day of Service.
For the 12th consecutive year, entering freshman, divided into small groups led by a faculty/staff member and one sophomore, are sent to schools, churches, soup kitchens, shelters assisting children and animals, and assisted living centers to assist with cleaning, painting, cooking, socializing, landscaping and any other tasks the service organization might need.