WINONA LAKE — This fall, Grace College welcomed 400 new undergraduate students to its campus.
Grace’s incoming class is nearly 11 percent larger than last year and one of the most diverse student bodies in Grace’s history, including 24 percent more Hispanic students. In all, Grace enrolled 1,957 students this semester, according to a news release from the college.
Several key academic programs are growing at Grace. The school’s blended degree program, which allows students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four years at no additional cost to undergraduate tuition, has record enrollment. College Launch, a program that allows high school juniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher to earn an associate degree in Liberal Arts, realized a 109 percent increase in participation this year. Deploy, Grace’s contemporary seminary program, continues to expand and the BSN program in partnership with Bethel College has seen 37 percent growth.
“Many of the programs we’ve instituted in recent years are experiencing steady growth,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary. “We’re excited to see students earn degrees from new programs and go on to make an impact in the marketplace and society. We’ve done our job when Grace graduates lead purposeful and impactful lives.”
The new academic year at Grace also brings new athletic opportunities. This year, Grace has more than 300 athletes participating in the school’s 16 varsity sports. More than 50 students also participate in junior varsity athletics, an all-time high. Grace added four new JV teams this fall: women’s soccer, men’s basketball, softball and women’s golf. Grace also offers JV baseball, volleyball and men’s soccer.
“We’ve added JV sports as a positive way to help grow overall campus enrollment and reach high school athletes who desire a JV college athletic experience,” said Chad Briscoe, Grace College director of athletics.
Students may also enjoy Grace’s four club sports: bass fishing, women’s rugby, shooting sports and ultimate frisbee.
Grace students were welcomed to campus this fall with additional green spaces and reshaped campus traffic flow to beautify and enhance the school’s outdoor space. These improvements were a result of the ASPIRE Campaign which concluded in April 2019. The campaign raised $39.8 million, surpassing the campaign goal of $37 million. While students currently enjoy many results of the campaign, Katip said new projects on the horizon include an updated dining commons, new third spaces and investments in the growing School of Business.
“As a Christ-Centered institution of higher education, we are still aspiring at Grace,” Katip said. “We will continue to pursue our vision through programs, facilities and scholarships that promote what we call the ‘Ways of Grace.’ We take pride in the individual attention and mentoring we offer, the career preparation we provide and most importantly the necessary tools we give students to lead lives of purpose. We look forward to a terrific year ahead.”