New college year 'zips' into action
Sept. 3, 2013
Will Cowart, left, and Donovan Miller enjoy the zip line on the Residential Quad.
Katie Chancellor spent her first days as a LaGrange College student climbing a
mountain in North Carolina. George Cordova celebrated the beginning of his college
career by speeding down a zip line over the Residential Quad.
Ringing in the new academic season on campus took on several unique
forms this year, with events that culminated last week in the school's first day
of classes and the official Opening Convocation ceremony.
Passersby on Forrest Avenue couldn't miss the elaborate setup for the second annual
Spirit and Traditions Kickoff, featuring a 200-foot zip line, "robo surfer," obstacle
course and a showing of the film "The Avengers" on a 30-foot outdoor screen.
Cordova, a freshman from Tampa, Fla., was the first student to tackle the zip
line, and admitted to being a little uneasy.
"I was a little nervous," he said, "but it was fun. I went back and did it again."
His other favorite activities were the surfing simulator and the pitching-radar
Following the festive beginning, first-year students participated in a cleanup
service project at West Point Lake. Later that day, the college's faculty, staff
and students enjoyed a Beach Bash at Callaway Gardens, where they had access to
the beach, Aqua Island, miniature golf, laser tag and other games.
Dr. Marc Shook, associate provost and dean of student engagement, said he was
thrilled at the response to the events.
"The entire Student Engagement staff was enthusiastic about all the positive energy
we saw from our students during First Week," he said. "Our goal was to build community
and a connection to the college—and to expose first-year students to the resources
available to them here."
Dr. Shook said more than 650 people attended the Spirit and Traditions Kickoff,
and even more participated in the Beach Bash. There were so many students involved
in the lake cleanup that four buses were needed to transport them.
"We saw a spirit of community that we hope will continue to grow," he said. "It
was a wonderful way to start the year."
Latia Appling works her way up a mountainside during her four-day pre-semester
Outward Bound experience
Katie Chancellor, a first-year student from Augusta, is one of the members of
the inaugural class of the Leaders Inspired for Tomorrow program. LIFT allows a
select group of 10 first-year students to take part in a yearlong leadership development
The group began its experience with a four-day wilderness challenge led by North
Carolina Outward Bound, returning just a few days before the start of classes.
Students spent four days hiking the rugged terrain and rappelling mountainsides
in the Pisgah National Forest, forcing many participants out of their comfort zone.
"This was a fantastic way to start off my college career," Chancellor said. "Not
only do I know I have a group of lifetime friends, but I also know that if I can
survive the wilderness at its worst, then I can survive anything thrown my way.
"Overall, I learned that sometimes it is necessary to lean on others for support
whether big or small because we cannot do everything on our own."
Just before the start of classes, students, faculty and staff also were treated
to a Beach Bash at Callaway Gardens' Robin Lake Beach.