The Welcome Center: you may know it as the place to receive your new Bruin Nation 5K T-shirt or the place responsible for giving tours around campus, but the Welcome Center is more.
Located on the first floor of the Student Center, the Welcome Center is not just a desk, but also an area dedicated to serving people.
The forerunner to the Welcome Center, the “Information Desk,” was located in the Administration Building, but in the fall of 2010, the Welcome Center opened in its current location, carrying many of the same responsibilities and adding some new ones.
Student ambassadors are university students who work for the Welcome Center. Their job includes leading tours, arranging reservations for guests in Campus View Apartments, answering phone calls, ushering for chapel and fine arts events, arranging prospective student meetings with faculty/staff and with admission counselors, and much more.
“We work closely with Admission to best promote our programs to those visiting the campus,” said Clay Bryant, a senior communication major.
Inform prospective students
“We are here to serve prospective students,” said Mr. David Orr, the Welcome Center manager. The tours student ambassadors give highlight what BJU is really about. They are personalized for each audience, complete with personal stories of how certain classes and professors have influenced each ambassador individually while at college.
Though these prospective students can visit at any time, they also can attend College Up Close, Preview Days, High School Festival, AACS and more.
Welcome Center staff have already started planning the College Up Close recruitment event happening in February after Bible Conference.
They think through every aspect of what will best serve the students (both current and prospective).
According to current student ambassadors Clay Bryant and Kayla Bullock, the ambassadors play a key role in all of these events.
They help out by greeting guests, staging activities, assisting guests in choosing classes to visit and making sure that all the guests end up back on the BJU motor coach the following Saturday morning.
Assist current students
Though a majority of their work is for prospective students, they are really a service for everyone. The Welcome Center aims to assist current students, faculty and staff. They are a center of answers for any questions you may have whether it’s how to get to the pavilions or where the bathroom is located.
According to Orr, even if the staff does not have an immediate answer to a difficult question, they know where to find the info or to connect them with someone who can best help the situation.
“[We are] here to help people,” Orr said.
The Welcome Center is many times the first point of contact for guests of Bob Jones University and the first door they walk through. It is also a center of hospitality and service for guests coming to see Living Gallery, to visit the M&G or just to experience what campus is like and see the sights.
Student ambassadors have had the chance to share the Gospel with some visitors and tell how God is using BJU in the world through graduate testimonies. This makes the Welcome Center not just an office of campus, but an outlet for ministry opportunity.
“We try not to connect with a guest just to ‘sell the University,’” said Bryant. “That’s not our job. We connect with them because they’re a fellow image-bearer. We want them to see how Christ is working here at BJU, and we’d love for them to want to be a part of that.”
“[Our] main goal is to connect guests with the people of BJU, the place of BJU, and the programs of BJU,” Orr said. “Hopefully [we can] leave them feeling that we are a University dedicated to service and hospitality.”