Preview event offers chance to experience many facets of college life

March 3, 2011

PLAINVIEW – High school juniors and seniors are familiar with the wave of brochures, postcards and emails that begin to flood their view once they begin to look into colleges, take their entrance exams or attend college fairs.

But according to Debbie Stennett, brochures alone really can’t do justice to the full college experience that comes from actually walking the grounds of a campus and shaking hands with live people.

That’s why Stennett and her employees in the Office of Admissions at Wayland Baptist University put so much effort into the annual preview event called Big Weekend. Slated for March 25-26 on the Plainview campus, the weekend provides a jam-packed schedule of events for students and their parents to really immerse themselves in the Wayland experience.

“From staying in the dorms to experiencing the late-night activities and the mock classes, students really do get a taste of Wayland that is impossible to capture fully in our print pieces,” said Stennett. “It’s really important for them to make their decision about a university based on the full picture, and Big Weekend provides a great opportunity for them to do that.”

Students begin the weekend on Friday, March 25, by meeting their hosts in one of Wayland’s residence halls. Being able to stay with current students gives them a first-hand glimpse into dorm life, and students also eat in the McClung Center dining hall for the weekend. They then have the opportunity to sit in on actual college classes taking place on Friday morning, choosing from trigonometry, biology (also including time to discuss pre-health majors), world civilizations, geology, French, Old Testament History, theory, education, U.S. History, economics, English composition, New Testament History and understanding Christian marriage.

A research presentation by students about water purification will be presented during the morning as well as information sessions on the fitness/health trainer program and the cheer and dance team. Chapel is slated for 11 a.m., a departure from the regular Wednesday time slot in order for prospective students to experience the spiritual gathering on campus. Lunch follows, then Laney Craze, featuring games and activities to allow students to meet current students and other prospects. Recital hour follows lunch for those with an interest in music, and an information session on the missions program will also be held.

Campus tours will leave from the university center during the afternoon and a special seminar on financial aid is also slated along with an information session on the pre-engineering program. Tryouts for women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer are offered, along with information sessions on football and wrestling.

Dinner returns to the cafeteria, followed by the Big Weekend concert featuring Building 429, Revive and Anthem Lights in Harral Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. Following the concert, another annual favorite, the late night breakfast, is featured in the cafeteria, followed by late-night activities in the Laney Center.

Saturday kicks off with an information session and breakfast for parents while students enjoy a come and go breakfast, followed by “All About WBU” and the academic fair in which students can hear from President Dr. Paul Armes, learn more about financial aid and student activities and meet with faculty members from the various academic schools on campus. After a break for lunch, students can attend tryouts for baseball and basketball, auditions for music entrance and scholarships (band, choir, orchestra and keyboard) and for theatre and art. They can take campus tours, attend additional information sessions for football, the missions program and financial aid. Following dinner, the Baptist Student Ministries will host a praise service in their facility, and the School of Music will host the annual President’s Scholarship Concert at 7:30 p.m.

Big Weekend costs $25 for student participants, which includes all meals and activities and the concert on Friday. T-shirts can be purchased for an additional cost. Parents and siblings are welcome to attend the weekend along with their students for the same $25 per person charge but housing is not provided on campus. Local hotels offer special rates for Big Weekend and those are available on the WBU Web site.

For more information or to register online, visit the Wayland Web site at or call the Office of Admissions at (806) 291-3500 or toll-free at (800) 588-1928.