All across the campus of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville, new and returning students saw an array of blue banners on the street lights that proclaimed, “Welcome Home.” For new students, the banners represent the start of their college experience and the formation of new friendships at their new home. Returning students who already call BCF home, recognize the banners as a warm return to a loving campus and lifelong friendships.
On August 10, new students moved into their new residence at BCF, either married housing or the dorms. For many, campus housing and dorm life is where those forever friends are formed since that is where a lot of college activities occur for students. When asked about living in the dorms, BCF Freshman and Brackin-Chandler Hall Resident Mike Baker responded, “It’s like a dream come true. The people are Godly and awesome and we have become brothers in just six days.” BCF Freshman Rebekah Erskine, who lives in Napier Hall, echoed enjoyment of her new environment as well, stating, “Living on campus is super helpful because it helps me keep focused on school.”
New Student Orientation at BCF began on August 11, as students filed into the R.G. Lee Chapel greeted by praise and worship, followed by an encouraging and welcoming message from BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen. Following the message and welcome, over 100 new students made their way to the R. C. Mills Center for orientation in order to learn about the many facets of life at BCF. Information presented to the new students included the policies and procedures found in the student handbook, benefits of the writing center and computer lab, and basic campus safety. Incoming students also had the opportunity to share a meal with their faculty advisors and professors from their division in the new dining facility, the Deese Center.
After receiving all of the information from orientation, new students gathered in the BCF Wellness Center to participate in the annual “Church Meet and Greet.” This is a time of fellowship with local church representatives where new students obtain information on church locations, ministry opportunities, and specific information about worship times and worship styles.
After meeting with academic advisors and registering for classes on Friday, August 12, the new students were able to relax and fellowship with new friends until 7:00 p.m. when they took part in the BCF Amazing Race. The amazing race is an orientation event hosted and organized by BCF Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) designed to familiarize new students with the campus layout and meet some of the current students. “The Amazing Race was exhausting; but I met so many people and learned where everything is located,” stated BCF incoming Freshman Noah Wagner. The following day, Saturday, August 13, students were invited to the home of BCF Professor of Music Buford Cox and his wife Judy, for the BCM Splish Splash Pool Party. BCM provided pizza, snacks, and drinks for students to enjoy while they splished and splashed in the Cox’s pool.
Whether they bonded over finding classrooms together, splashing in the pool, or racing around the campus, new BCF students are already making friends who they consider family. As students began classes at BCF, they quickly learned what it means to call the college that is “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word®” home.
For more information about the degrees and programs offered at The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.