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Southern Arkansas University's new president reports more students than ever on campus

Magnolia Reporter

The new president of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia says fall enrollment is on track to be the highest ever in the university’s 106-year history. 

Trey Berry says admissions counselors are still enrolling students. Classes started one week ago. Berry says the new high will be around 4,000 students when the final numbers are in. That’s about 450 more than last year’s record setting enrollment.

“But this is a good problem to have full residence halls and so many full classes and many students walking on campus. There’s just a great feeling on campus this year,” Berry said, who was the former provost of SAU.

Berry says the factors contributing to the record enrollment include new degree programs attracting students from all over the country, and SAU’s effort to keep tuition costs low.

“Our traditional recruitment base has been South Arkansas, but that has changed over the past decade. We’re getting students from all over the Ark-La-Tex region and the nation. We’ve got an increase in undergraduate [students]. We had the largest freshman class in our history. We’ve seen a great surge in our graduate program,” Berry said.

Berry became president on July 1 succeeding David Rankin who served more than 45 years at SAU, including 13 years as president.

Berry will attend a meet and greet Thursday, Sept. 3, in El Dorado from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the South Arkansas Arts Center, 110 East 5th Street. Berry says SAU continues to strengthen ties with El Dorado.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.
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