Freshman orientation to visit downtown

KWC planning freshman orientation downtown

By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer | Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 12:00 am

Kentucky Wesleyan College's 70-acre campus is 30 blocks south of downtown Owensboro.


But the college wants to be part of the new revitalized downtown, Bart Darrell, KWC's vice president for external services, said Tuesday.


And it's planning to have at least half of the final day of its freshman orientation program — Aug. 26 — downtown this year for the first time, he said.


Freshman orientation starts Aug. 23 and continues through Aug. 25 on campus before moving downtown. Classes start on Aug. 27


"I have a big passion for colleges being as much a part of the community as they can be," Darrell said. "We want to create more of a relationship with the community."


Debi Ford, owner of Simply Chic Furnishings and Decor and membership chairwoman for We Are Downtown, said she's excited about the idea.


"A lot of us are going to put signs out welcoming them and offering discounts," she said.


Darrell said orientation sessions are scheduled for the RiverPark Center, the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.


"We want our kids to meet people in the community," he said. "We have more students from other places than any other institution in town and we have a significant economic impact on the community."


Darrell said the freshman class this fall is expected to have more than 200 students.

"I grew up here," he said. "This is my hometown. The college and the community need to promote each other."


The college will bus students to and from downtown on Aug. 26.


"They'll be there from about 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.," Darrell said.


"I want our campus to extend beyond the 70 acres we're on," he said. "We need to make sure we're giving them the best education possible and that includes making them a part of the entire community."


Kentucky Wesleyan has a history with downtown.


When the college moved to Owensboro from Winchester in 1951, classes were held in Settle Memorial Methodist and First Baptist churches, a house near J.R. Miller

Boulevard and East Third Street and a building in the 700 block of Frederica Street while the current campus was being built.


The school moved to 3000 Frederica St. in 1954.


Keith Lawrence, 691-7301,


Courtesy Messenger-Inquirer

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