You could certainly argue that the highlight of the year for The Master’s College took place on Oct. 27, 2011. On that day, hundreds of college alumni and supporters, along with a collection of area leaders, donors and local community members joined the rest of the campus family for a special dedication.
The gathering took place to mark the official opening of the college’s Welcome Center and Legacy Room, the culmination of a two-year long construction effort and, as college leaders explain, hours and hours of prayer.
Visitors heard special presentations from college President John MacArthur and Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Tatlock. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the center opened for tours, and visitors were able to see what has become the centerpiece of a growing campus. The Welcome Center now serves as a hub for campus activity.
The Legacy Room's second floor houses a visual history of the ministries led by President MacArthur: Grace Community Church, Grace to You, The Master’s Seminary and The Master’s Academy.
“The Welcome Center and Legacy Room serve three critical functions beautifully,” Tatlock said. “First, they pay tribute to our past in a way that helps visitors understand who we are as a school – they reflect our commitment to the Lord and His truth. By doing that, they express our goals for the future. At the same time, they provide a space that is immensely practical.”
The dedication of the new building was a fitting capstone to 2011 – a year that brought more than its share of highlights across the campus.
Enrollment at The Master's College climbed to a record high in 2011. Heading into the 2011-2012 academic year, the number of traditional (18-24 year-old) students stood at 1017, eclipsing the former high of 1003, reached in 2001-2002. For the past two years, the average size of incoming freshman is 371, up from an average 319 in the previous five. According to TMC Admissions Director Hollie Gorsh, the surge is due in part to greater efforts to both recruit and retain students. The college is reaching out to students earlier in their high school careers, which gives Gorsh and her staff more time to show them what makes TMC special.
The TMC Business Department began offering a pair of new emphases in 2011 – international business and marketing. The school hired Dr. Kevin Hill as a faculty member to head the new marketing emphasis. Dr. Alex Granados supervises international business. The new emphases were launched in response to a growing number of inquiries from students and prospective students who have a particular interest in international projects. It is another way the college can prepare young Christian men and women to impact the world for Christ.
In its annual edition of America’s Best Colleges, The U.S. News and World Report ranked The Master’s College No. 2 among the 40 colleges in the Western Region. TMC placed first in “peer assessment,” which reflects the opinions of other presidents, provosts, and deans regarding the college’s academic excellence. This marked the twelfth consecutive year that TMC has placed in the "First Tier" (Top 75%) of America's Western Region Colleges.
On March 19, head baseball coach Monte Brooks picked up his 400th win with a 6-5 victory over Concordia. Brooks, who began coaching at The Master’s College in 1997, has earned three NAIA Coach of the Year honors in 1998 (Far West Region), 2000 (Region II) and 2003 (Region II).
Distinguished Concerts International in New York City (CDINY) invited Dr. Paul Plew and The Master's College Chorale & Alumni to participate in a matinee performance of John Rutter’s “Requiem” on May 29 in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City. This honor affirmed the school’s reputation for excellence in the arenas of musicianship and performance.
Global outreach teams sent summer missions teams all over the world in 2011. Students served in Taiwan, Ireland, The Philippines, Malawi, South Africa, China and Latvia. Dr. Lisa LaGeorge, TMC’s Director of International Ministries, sees these trips as opportunities for students to put their faith into practice and to cultivate a deeper understanding of church outreach beyond their comfort zone. She noted that the teams’ destinations are unlikely to turn up on most people’s list of desirable vacation spots. That was by design.
This year saw the formation of The Master's College alumni house. The house, which originally served as the college president's residence and later as home to the school’s IT Department, now enjoys new life as the center of life for alumni and also houses the advancement offices of the college. Much like the Welcome Center, the alumni house is a place for campus visitors to spend a little time, view historical photos and college memorabilia...all part of the building’s allure.
Donors supported of the college like never before in 2011. By the end of the year, gifts to the school totaled close to $5 million – a new record for the institution. The additional gifts were used for new student scholarships, helped fund the Welcome Center and Legacy Room, provided faculty support and helped remodel an existing building into a new campus alumni house.
Those are some of the highlights from a monumental year for The Master’s College. According to Tatlock, however, the most significant accomplishment of 2011 is the sum of them all – and what they represent.
“The Master’s College exists to build the church by preparing future leaders and lay leaders,” he said. “We have a wonderful opportunity to help shape the minds and hearts of young men and women who love the Lord and are excited about finding out how to manifest that love and service in tangible ways in society. That’s who we are, and every year brings a fresh opportunity to challenge ourselves to do it even better than the year before.”
In other words, hold onto your hats in 2012.