Summertime brings more than 7,000 visitors to campus

Summertime gives the idea of water, sand and sun for some, but it means camps, conferences and other experiences for fun and learning at Tennessee Tech University's campus.

More than 7,000 people visit TTU in the summer season for cheerleading and dance, music or sports camps, science and engineering workshops, studying or just looking around, say university officials, and many of them live in campus residence halls during their stay.

"Folks get to experience the campus," said Bobby Hodum, executive director of enrollment management at TTU. "Whether the prospective students see it for a day or the students in Governor's Schools see it for a few weeks, seeing the campus makes a big difference."

Sports camp this summer will attract the single greatest segment of visitors, accounting for about 2,500 high school students visiting campus, according to Rob Schabert, sports information director.

The university hosts athletic camps for six individual sports - baseball, boys and girls basketball, football, soccer and volleyball. Following athletic camps, the segment making up the second greatest number of visits this summer will be 1,200 cheerleaders and dance camp participants from school districts throughout the Upper Cumberland.

Most recently, American Legion Boys' State brought about 600 high school juniors from across the state for a week's stay. TTU faculty, staff and administrators serve as counselors and organizers for the annual event, making themselves available to answer questions about the university.

About 80 musicians also recently attended the Southeast Chamber Music Institute, which has previously proven to be a successful recruitment opportunity, with some of TTU's best student musicians enrolling after having attended the institute.

About 400 other campus visitors will be participating in some other type of summer music camp at the university.

TTU also hosts two Governor's Schools during the summer. About 40 students attend Tennessee Governor's School for Information Technology Leadership, a five-week summer residence program that's designed to provide opportunities for gifted and talented high school students from across the state to develop a greater knowledge of information technology and business leadership.

The new Governor's School for Emerging Technologies, a challenging five-week residence program, brings about 60 students to campus to stimulate and build their interests in engineering, technology, science and mathematics.

Engineering a Future 2008 - Summer Edition, a four-day residential mini camp with emphasis on engineering for young women in seventh and eighth grades, will bring about 20 girls to campus in June.

Not all summer visitors come for camps and conferences, however. More than 200 prospective students and their families schedule visits for a look around the campus and its facilities, Hodum said. Another 1,500 students visit campus during the summer season for Student Orientation and Registration, or SOAR, activities.

According to Charlie Macke, director of TTU's Residential Life Office, room is reserved in the campus residence halls for about 60 4-H campers and 20 Leadership Putnam participants too.

"It's nice to bring excitement and energy back in the halls," Macke said. "You can just tell the youth are excited to be here."

For more information about booking TTU for a summer event, call its Residential Life Office at 931/372-3415.