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AU News

Onward and Upward: Base Camp 2023

June 16, 2023
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Anderson University Base Camp guides look forward to welcoming 900+ incoming students to its one-of-a-kind orientation.

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Entering college is a big step—kind of like climbing a mountain. 

As with a mountain ascent, there’s a Base Camp for incoming students to help them proceed with confidence on one of life’s most important journeys. 

Anderson University has 20 Base Camp guides and eight support staff who are ready to welcome incoming students into the Trojan community and introduce them to the place they love. But beyond simply giving instructions, these guides are eager to share all that’s special about college life at Anderson University.

A big Base Camp bonus is getting to know other students, as well as professors and staff members before the new academic year starts. 

“For me, it’s just the relationships,” said Base Camp guide Ian Thomson, a rising junior from Greenville, South Carolina who is majoring in biology. “You meet so many different people from different walks of life and people you might not have thought in high school that you’d be friends with. Here you are connecting with people that you just wouldn’t normally be around and I think that’s what’s so cool about college.”

Base Camp guide Tori Goldsmith of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, remembers how nervous she was when she was starting college. Goldsmith, now a rising sophomore who is majoring in elementary education, appreciated how her Base Camp Guides went beyond just being transactional—they became friends.

“I’m excited to help them know ‘it’s going to be okay, we’re here for you.’ We want to make connections with you and make that transition as easy as possible, because for a lot of people… this is the first time they had a sleepover with somebody before, so moving completely away can be really scary,” Goldsmith said. “I come from a pretty small town, so I’m used to the community aspect of ‘everybody knows you’ and at Anderson I feel like that carries over because you cannot walk from your room to the caf (AU Culinary Center) without seeing probably five people you know, and they’re all going to stop and say ‘hey’ to you, and they’re all going to ask you ‘how’s your day been?’”

Goldsmith’s encouragement to students is “not to worry about feeling like such a small fish in such a big pond but knowing that like everyone else is just swimming right along with you.” 

About being a Base Camp guide, Thomson commented, “Last year I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I knew I was going to be doing orientation, obviously, but I just didn’t realize how close I would get with the team that I’d be working with. Just kind of stepping out of the shell that I was in, I realized during Basecamp just how capable I am of interacting with people.”

For Director of Student Involvement and New Student Programs Gabby Morgan, along with Associate Director of New Student Programs Sam Walker, Base Camp is student-focused by its very nature.

“It might seem scary at first, but these leaders—our guides—are built in friends for them through the day who are going to lead them through the day and who are going to be resources for them come the fall,” Morgan said. 

Walker, who is a 2020 AU graduate, said, “Anderson University in general is a place where people genuinely want to come. This is a university that students want to be a part of… A lot of them perceive this as a great place to be, but they really have no idea just how special these next four years are going to be—and we’re the very first taste of that. I think that’s a really special opportunity.”

Students register for Base Camps by major, so incoming freshmen will meet not only faculty in their area of study, but will meet more of their peers in the same or similar programs. 

“We have made adjustments to how students register at Base Camp in terms of majors, so we have seen a need and a want from students to have more connections with people in their major, specifically at Base Camp,” Morgan said, noting that at Base Camp’s Meet Your College session, incoming freshmen learn what it’s like to be a student in that major alongside of other students in the same major.

Base Camp dates:

  • Session 1: Jun 20, 2023
  • Session 2: Jun 21, 2023
  • Session 3: Jun 22, 2023
  • Session 4: Jun 23, 2023
  • Session 5: Jul 18, 2023
  • Session 6: Jul 19, 2023
  • Session 7: Jul 20, 2023
  • Session 8: Jul 21, 2023

Details about Base Camp and a registration form can be found here


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