The Open House preview event held at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville each semester is a day filled with excitement for members of the faculty, staff, and student body welcoming prospective students to the campus. This semester on March 9, over a hundred visitors gathered on the Graceville campus to see if BCF is the place they should continue their education. “I want to thank everyone that participated in The Baptist College of Florida’s Preview Day,” stated BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen. “We had a wonderful day with record attendance and spirit. I hope prospective students found exactly what they were looking for in a Christian college. We will be praying with them in this important decision they will be making.”
Registration began in the BCF Wellness Center at 9:00 a.m. where prospective students and their families received bags complete with information pertaining to campus life and degree opportunities. During registration, prospects were able to circle the inside of the Wellness Center, visiting exhibit booths dedicated to providing information on specific degree programs, mission opportunities, collegiate disaster relief, financial aid, housing, security, student life activities, intramural sports, the new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), and other resources available to students such as the library, writing center, and computer lab. There was also a photo booth where visitors could capture the moment by taking fun photos with friends and family members creating memories and making new friends on Preview Day.
After registration, guests were given a spirited introduction and welcome by President Kinchen and Director of Student Life and Marketing Sandra Richards. In welcoming visitors who had travelled long distances to attend the special event, Kinchen gave out a $500 scholarship to Allison Young, the prospective student that came from Kentucky to visit the campus. During the exhibit meet and greet time, prospective students were able to interact with faculty and staff from each department and invited to observe academic life by visiting one of the classes. Classes were available in music, education, psychology, missions and theology, business, dual-enrollment, and financial aid. The classroom sessions gave prospective students and their families a snapshot of what a regular class relating to their academic interest or career choice might look like, as well as the possibilities for financial assistance.
Following the classroom visits, guests made their way to the R.G. Lee Chapel where faculty and students gather three days a week to worship. The chapel service featured student led praise and worship, highlighting the orchestra, BCF College Choir, and all of the ensembles available for students to join while attending BCF. President Kinchen offered a brief, yet powerful message focusing on what a blessing it is to be held to higher standards as ambassadors of Christ. The chapel service concluded with a prayer of thanksgiving for the current and prospective students and a blessing over the food.
Immediately after chapel, BCF provided lunch for visitors in the beautiful dining facility, the Deese Center. During lunch, guests experienced a time of food, fun, and fellowship, while meeting and interacting with current students, staff, and faculty. Visitors attending lunch enjoyed the smooth sounds of the BCF Jazz Band. Following the meal, campus guests were given the option to tour married housing or freshman dormitories with the BCF Resident Assistants (RA’s), or take a tour of the campus with one of the BCF Admissions Counselors.
At the end of the tours, guests joined the BCF family in the Wellness Center to watch this year’s BCF Intramural Basketball Champions, the “Sonic Ballers,” take on a team made up of faculty and staff members in the annual Preview Day Basketball Challenge. The crowd cheered and laughed as additional obstacles were added to challenge the students, such as the Sonic Baller’s captain, Collin Dollar, being handcuffed during part of the game. Despite the great effort made by the staff and faculty team, the students ended up winning the nail-biting game by just a few points after going into overtime. At the end of the game, drawings were held for three more scholarships that were awarded to Jasmine Roberts, Stephen Attaway, and Roger Cuevas. A BCF gift basket was presented to Alex Mares for completing the Preview Day survey card. The day concluded with many prospective students taking advantage of the waived application fee and applying to The Baptist College of Florida. As prospective students and their families prepared to leave, the day ended with a word of prayer from Mrs. Sandra asking the Lord’s traveling protection over the campus visitors.
For more information on how you can become a part of the college that is “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word®” or to visit the campus, please call 800-328-2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.