by Nicole Brodzik
The quiet, serene Crown College campus will be much more lively crowd this weekend as the college celebrates 100 years of service to students during its 2016 homecoming weekend.
Starting Thursday Oct. 13, sporting events and alumni gatherings have taken over the campus for the centennial.
“It’s one of the first weekends we’ve had this many home events,” Crown College President Joel Wiggins said.
There are nine games that are being played at Crown over the weekend, with the football team taking on the University of Minnesota Morris Saturday night to wrap up the weekend’s events.
“It should be a fun weekend for the alumni and the current students,” Marketing Communications Manager Jessica Artibee said. “The students organized a big bonfire for after the football game and will be doing all kinds of events throughout the weekend.”
Other notable events for all attending the centennial celebration are the chili cook-off and cardboard boat regatta. That race will take place on Miller Pond in front of the main building, but it’s not just students who get in on the fun.
“Every year Dr. Wiggins and his wife compete in that too,” Artibee said. “It’s just one more way he’s accessible and open to the students here at Crown.”
That accessibility is just one of the reasons Artibee said she thinks Crown has been successful for so long. With smaller class sizes and a total enrollment of about 1,400 students, there’s plenty of hands on, in person interaction between staff and students. President Wiggins agrees.
“This is a teaching school,” he said. “Our professors don’t have the pressure of having to do research and only teach a couple of classes like a lot of public universities do. Our staff is here to teach and spends all day interacting with students.”
Opening it’s doors to students in 1916, the college has, understandably, seen plenty of change in the last 100 years. It’s moved locations, it’s offerings are greater and the cost of admission has gone up considerably from the school’s original semester fee of $5.
However, according to President Joel Wiggins, the core values of Crown College have stayed largely the same in that time.
“People who graduated from Crown, myself included, generally say three things about their experience here– that there’s a strong student-faculty interaction, that it’s a Christ-centered atmosphere and that we have a strong focus on community,” Wiggins said.
Despite the focus on past success, Wiggins’s mind is still on the future of Crown College, where he sees the institution’s online Associates, Bachelors and Masters programs growing quickly.
“We’ve seen the most growth with the Masters programs online and are hoping to ad some integrated majors that incorporate online and in-class learning,” Wiggins said.
The college has invited many alumni back for the weekend’s festivities and Artibee said they hope to see a good turnout over the weekend.
For more information on Crown College’s 100-year celebration or the weekend’s events, visit https://www.crown.edu/crown100/.