Several members of the incoming freshmen and transfer class participated in the new student pinning ceremony last week on campus.

Columbia College President Dr. Scott Dalrymple recently announced student enrollments for the 2016 Fall Semester for the college’s day campus are up 12.8 percent compared to last fall’s enrollment totals. Dalrymple also noted that the college’s resident’s halls are full, with 402 students making up the incoming freshman and transfer class.

“There is an increased energy on campus heading into the Fall Semester and we are pleased to welcome students back,” Dalrymple said. “Our students will notice many exciting enhancements we have made over the summer to student life in academics, athletics and the aesthetics of our historic campus.”

The college is in the midst of exciting growth and change as a new academic structure was recently implemented, organizing the institution’s degree offerings into three schools featuring three founding deans. The physical appearance of the heart of campus has also changed with the completion of the Quad project. The estimated $1.9 million project features an amphitheater for holding classes, student presentations and performances; the Columbia College Alumni fountain; a sheltered dining pavilion; a garden honoring our Christian College heritage; and a new, centrally located campus safety office.

The Cougar athletics program also continues to grow, recently adding the sports of baseball and with men’s lacrosse and women’s bowling set to come on board in 2017, bringing the total of NAIA varsity sports offered by the college to 17. A competitive online gaming, or eSports, squad was also added for the fall of 2016, making the college one of the first institutions in the country to offer scholarships for gamers. Combine those items with the addition of a bachelor’s degree in nursing that has been added this fall and you have the makings of a historic year on campus.