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Brenau students start class today
Enrollment is about 2,740 students
Brenau University sophomores Kristal Thomas, front, 19, and Gabriele Stegall, 20, move a container inside a closet Sunday while organizing their room at Yonah Hall. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Today marks the first day of class for students at Brenau University and Brenau Academy. It’s also the first day at the university for new Provost Nancy Krippell.

“I’m learning a lot,” said Krippell, who began her duties July 1. “I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s nice now to have students on campus.”

The 185 new underclassmen moved in Wednesday and upperclassmen started decorating dorm rooms Sunday.

Monique Wimby, 20, moved into her dorm in Yonah Hall Sunday. She said she is happy to be “coming back home after the summer.

“I’m in my third year so I’m feeling kind of nostalgic. I know what I’m doing technically, moving in, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less hot or tedious,” Wimby said.

There are about 2,740 students enrolled at Brenau University this year, including students taking distance-learning classes. More than 700 of those are new to the college for 2011.

“The big thing is we’ve got 13 new doctorate of nurse practitioner students,” said Scott Briell, senior vice president for enrollment management and student services. “It’s the first doctorate at Brenau so that’s exciting.”

The nine students enrolled at Brenau University through the academy’s Early College program are starting class several weeks later than they’re used to, but Briell said the addition will not affect the university’s operations.

“We’ve had academy students in the women’s college classes for 20 years,” he said. “We’ve got a special residence program for them.”

The students, seven of whom will live on campus this year, will be earning joint high school and college credit through university classes. They’ll be able to participate in all events except for intercollegiate athletics and Greek life.

The university’s incoming class includes students from all over the world — China, Japan, Afghanistan, Korea and Great Britain, Briell said.

Sophomore Anela Durmitch is from Bosnia. She has decided to change her major to nursing.

“It’s just what I want to do with my life,” Durmitch said. She said she is excited to be reunited with her three roommates from last year.

All students went to see the movie “The Help” as part of their orientation, as they’ll be reading the popular novel during one of their classes. Other events girls attended included a book reading by university President Ed Schrader at the country club and convocation.

Krippell said she’s excited to get the new students and herself involved in the Brenau community and work to make it even better.

“I’m interesting in revising our advising system … to really make sure we’re serving our students at the highest level possible,” she said.

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