By Lauren Ryan
When she applied to Cedarville, Hailey Rogers didn’t know anything about the school. She said she applied because the Lord urged her to. After receiving her acceptance letter, she attended a CU Friday.
A student worker from Cedarville picked her up from the airport, and she said she was impressed by the kind service and genuine conversation. Rogers instantly felt at ease. She wanted to study Early Childhood Education, which happened to be the same major as the girl who picked her up.
As Rogers walked into the Stevens Student Center in April of 2019, she remembered thinking that it was huge.
“I was really excited to come into the student center because, other than chapel, it seemed to be the heart of campus,” Rogers said. “Everyone was super sweet and wanted to get to know me.”
In Stingers, she observed people playing games and talking instead of being on their phones. This was the kind of community she was looking for.
At the academic fair in the Doden Field House, she got to learn about the School of Education.“I found that education was represented well,” she said, “and I was able to have the
opportunity to ask any questions that I had.”
Later Rogers met her host for the night and hung out with some friends. Since Rogers was a transfer, she was impressed by the thoughtfulness of her arranged host and schedule. These were details Rogers did not have time to think about because she was still a student in Northern California. That night they stayed up for hours giving Rogers the Cedarville 101, the do’s and don’ts of campus and swapping life stories. She appreciated the genuine friendship girls wanted to start with her as she prepared to come to Cedarville in the fall of 2019.
“It was so cool to be surrounded by people who believed in what I was passionate about,” Rogers said. “I was currently attending a secular school and talking about the gospel was not a go-to. Having conversations about Jesus that night in the dorm was awesome. The chance to have so many conversations that surrounded and edified Christ made me fall in love with Cedarville.”
Rogers said she continued to feel at peace, surrounded by this body of believers, and continued to believe God was leading her to attend a Christian university. The next morning was CU Friday, the day that put her firmly on a path to graduate from Cedarville in 2022.
Cedarville hosts CU Mondays and Fridays each semester to give prospective students and their parents a glimpse into campus life. Cedarville’s admissions team considers CU Fridays and Mondays to be the best visit day because each visitor has a similar schedule.
Cedarville has been running CU Fridays since 2007. On February 17, Cedarville hosted a total of 861 students for the largest CU Monday in school history. Abigail Colvin, assistant director for Admissions and Guest Services, describes it as a “well-oiled machine.”
“CU Friday is an event Cedarville has been putting on for a long time,” she said. “I came into organizing these events with a pretty set in stone way of doing it simply because it was a routine event.”
To make CU Fridays and Mondays effective, Enrollment Management collects students’ data before they walk on campus, while the Admissions team organizes guest services teams, creates registration forms and communicates instructions to sub-teams.
Production Services Group runs opening sessions in the chapel. Career services and financial aid offer break-out sessions for students and parents. Cedarville students give tours and sit in on a panel discussion. Mindy May, director for Student Development and dean of women, and all the RA’s conduct dorm tours. Financial Aid, professors, the Cove, Campus Safety, ROTC, alumni and Christian Ministries set up interactive tables for prospective students to visit during the Student Life Fair. Prospective students and their families wrap up the day in the field house, where they are surrounded by every academic department and student volunteers.
“It takes many hands to get the day going,” Colvin said, “but with everyone working together, it turns out to be a smooth day.”
After hours of preparation, prospective students and families arrive on campus for the big day. Rogers was one of the many students who filled campus that day.Rogers attended a student panel and heard from Cedarville’s SGA President Sarah Shaw. Next, she went to a session with President Dr. Thomas White. Rogers said she appreciated how intentional he was with each value he drove home in his message.
“Dr. White talked about how the university is a Christ-centered place where God will be a part of every aspect of our experience here, including our major,” Rogers said. “As an education major, that was important to me to be taught how to become a teacher for Christ while also learning how to share the gospel with young children in a safe and legal way.”
CU Friday also made it possible for Rogers to experience chapel with the rest of the student body where she enjoyed the worship and clear presentation of the word.
“In chapel, Dr. White talked about our identity and how it is tied to God and not from what we do or possess,” Rogers said. “By the way he talked in chapel and the sessions throughout the day, you could tell he cared about his student body and their spiritual walk with Christ and that made me love him even more.”
Rogers said she felt that he wanted the future student body to be independent and make disciplined decisions for themselves to become better followers of Christ. The idea was not forced but instead encouraged.
As a result of attending CU Friday, Rogers noticed something special about campus.
“Everyone on campus had a reason to be happy,” she said. “They were filled with genuine joy.”
Rogers felt welcomed as if Cedarville was her second family.
“I never felt like people were trying to sell me on a product, but they truly believed Cedarville was for me,” she said. “Campus was very busy, but students would occasionally stop for a few minutes to direct me to where I needed to go along with small tips throughout the day.”
Lauren Ryan is a junior Professional Writing & Information Design major. She currently serves as a Resident Assistant in Printy Hall. You can probably spot her around campus by her bright yellow backpack. On a regular day, she’s most likely hanging out with friends or setting up a hammock.