Photo and article courtesy of the University of Pikeville. Learn more at www.upike.edu.
Pikeville, Ky. — When University of Pikeville President Paul Patton says there has never been a better time to be a UPIKE bear, he may be referring to a second straight year of record enrollment. It could be the institution’s move to university status, the addition of an MBA program and an RN-BSN, or new projects geared toward enhancing campus life.
As classes began on Aug. 22, the University of Pikeville welcomed more than 1,860 students, including 311 in the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“These numbers are a significant achievement and have exceeded our expectations,” said Patton. “All across campus, we have worked very hard to encourage prospective students to take a look at the quality of our programs, which we believe provide as good a liberal arts education as you can get at any similar institution.”
To accommodate the increase in enrollment new instructors and classes have been added and residence halls have been renovated and expanded. Earlier this year the University partnered with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers to operate the campus bookstore, providing access to cost-saving benefits such as rental textbooks and e-books. An in-depth freshman studies curriculum and volunteer mentoring program are also geared toward student success and a positive first-year experience.
“The heart and soul of this University is the classroom,” said Patton. “We also provide a comprehensive experience that will prepare our students for a promising but competitive world. More importantly, we are doing it in a small and personal atmosphere. That is what makes us special.”
Jake Cyrus, a junior communication major at the University of Pikeville, says he is “super pumped” about the fall semester. Cyrus, who plays baseball for the Bears, recently moved into Spilman Hall, one of two buildings renovated this year to accommodate the anticipated increase in students. Cyrus shares a suite with five other members of the baseball team and is excited to be among the 70 students who are the first to live in the new dormitory.
“It is really cool,” he said. “It’s like living in an apartment.”
A summer internship at PikeTV, the new government television channel, kept Cyrus close to campus this summer. It also gave him an opportunity to document the historic change to university status through the camera lens.
“I feel great that I actually experienced Pikeville College, but I am excited about the transition to the University of Pikeville. I think other schools are going to take us more seriously. We’re getting more students and more students mean more friends and more of that university atmosphere,” he said. “With all the progress we’ve made we’re rising exponentially. It seems like nothing is holding us back.”