Henderson, Tennessee – (Oct. 24, 2023) – Freed-Hardeman University welcomed around 900 middle school and high school students to campus Sept. 22-24 for RUSH weekend. The FHU admissions team said that these numbers broke their anticipated goal for the event.
Joseph Askew, associate vice president of enrollment management, said that he was pleased with the positive reception the event has achieved. “Hopefully some of the students who were on campus saw something special about FHU and began to envision themselves on our campus as college students,” Askew said.
Askew also acknowledged the vital contributions of others who worked tirelessly behind the scenes for this year’s event. “Paul Spurlin, Jon Podein and Hardison Moles of the Ministry League stepped in this year to assist the office of admissions in making RUSH 2023 a great one! We look forward to their connections and experience in the world of youth ministry continuing to enhance future events.”
The theme for RUSH 2023 was “Decisions.” Branded similarly to the 1960’s three-door “Let’s Make a Deal” game show, the focus was on challenging high school students to consider the impact today’s decisions will have on tomorrow. While making good decisions now will have major future payoffs, students were also encouraged to accept and take comfort in the decisions God has already made and the providence He provides for His children. Speakers for this year’s event included TJ Kirk, Brad Montague, JD Schwartz, Andrew Itson and FHU President David R. Shannon.
Prospective students came from a variety of cities and states to get a taste of college life and see what Freed-Hardeman has to offer. Some said that their visits were encouraged by their local youth ministers, and others complimented the classes and food that they got to sample over the weekend. Many students stated that their RUSH experience has helped to put FHU on their radar for choosing colleges in the near future.
“Events like this are an exciting opportunity for us to visualize the future of FHU,” Shannon said. “These participants may be visiting high school students today, but, hopefully, many will soon be contributing members of campus life here. The positive decisions that they make today can have a lasting effect on their tomorrow.”
While on campus, participants got to experience many of the social activities that go on at FHU and in the town of Henderson. Because the Chester County annual BBQ Festival coincided with RUSH weekend, festival foods and vendors lined Main Street. The same night, a block party was held after the festival featuring Carver Commodore as musical entertainment. On campus, social clubs introduced themselves and entertained students with games and activities, and hypnotist Dale Jenkins performed for an audience in Loyd Auditorium. Students kept a high level of engagement over the course of RUSH, as many of the optional activities during free time were just as full as the main activities.
Freed-Hardeman University’s mission is to help students develop their God-given talents and deepen their faith by providing them an education founded in faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.