932 prospective students and families attend Mustangs Rally


Karrington Bradley

Potential new students and families rising for the welcome speech.

While other high schoolers are spending their Saturday mornings sleeping in late, prospective MSU students were making the journey to attend Mustangs Rally, lining up to get a lanyard with their name and future major on it while their parent’s tennis shoes were squeaking across the gym floors on the way to find a seat in the bleachers.  There were nearly 375 students in attendance, making this the biggest rally yet.

Gayonne Beavers, director of admissions, said, “It’s a long-standing tradition here at MSU. It’s for prospective students, primarily for juniors and seniors but if freshman and sophomores in high school want to come we’re not going to turn them away either.”

Approximately 932 people were in attendance, including prospective students and their guests.

Beavers said, “We’re very excited that the Mustangs Rally was as big as it was. We try very hard at each and every rally to make them a positive experience for prospective students and also for them to see what it means to be a mustang on this campus.”

This grand amount of attendees for the Mustangs Rally could possibly mean a larger influx of new students to be enrolled next fall.

Cody Parish, honors program coordinator, said, “That would greatly increase tuition money which means they could then turn around put that into improving the student experience and improve what the campus offers. Having a bigger incoming freshmen class might also energize the students here. Growth is always exciting, so if we see growth in attendance, students might be more proud of their university. It also shows that there is something here that students see as more valuable.”

Kishelle Licorish, mathematics senior and Killingsworth RA, said she is excited about the possibility of new students.

“They can make MSU better, make it greater than it already is. More people, more ideas, more minds come together to make a difference in this community,” Licorish said.

There is a factor of this potentially large incoming freshmen class causing overcrowding in the dorms.

Licorish said, “I believe housing would find some sort of alternative. Currently, the dorms are not filled to capacity and some students are within a distance where they can commute so I think everything should be fine.”

A larger student body could also increase class sizes, which could hurt the university as MSU is known for having small classes. Beavers said she is not worried about new students having that big of an impact on the classes.

“We aren’t expecting the university to grow to a point that we’re going to have these gigantic classes or anything of that sort. You take the growth that we’re trying to have happen on this campus and you spread it across all the multiple majors that students can participate in and I don’t think we’re going to see a particular spike in classes,” Beavers said. “We’re still going to be able to have that personal interaction between professors and students even with the growth that we anticipate.”

The Mustangs Rally caters not only to the Wichita Falls location but to Flower Mound as well.

Beavers said, “The overall growth that we’re trying [to get] isn’t just at this campus. It also includes the Flower Mound location and it also includes online classes. So, I don’t think you’ll see a gigantic impact on the things that we like about this campus and the things that we tout when we go out on the road and mention these small class sizes.”

The event consisted of an introductory opening by University President, Suzanne Shipley, and a raffle gift giveaway to the registered students. One of the gifts included a scholarship to attend MSU. The students and their guests were then split into groups based on their chosen major and given group tours of the campus before being led to the department of the chosen major.

Prospective criminal justice students meet with their tour guide before being led around campus ultimately, leading back to the Gunn building.
Karrington Bradley
Prospective criminal justice students meet with their tour guide before being led around campus ultimately, leading back to the Gunn building.

Mitzi Lewis, associate professor, who greeted potential students and their parents visiting the mass communication department said, “In a nutshell, it’s sharing information about the department and trying to answer any questions they might have. They get to hear from professors and get to meet other students.”

After the departmental visits, the prospective students and guests were invited to the D. L. Ligon Coliseum to visit booths for different campus organizations and given a complimentary lunch of a burger and chips.

Vanessa Quinones, radiology freshman, said, “I’ve seen that this was the biggest crowd MSU has had for potential freshman. It was pretty crowded so I think MSU will have a lot of brand new students next year. We [Sigma Lambda Alpha sorority] had about 15 girls sign our sheet about joining.”

Among the high schoolers, there were some as young as ninth graders in attendance to learn about the school.

Parish said, “Usually the people who are there are a little more motivated of owning their college experience so it’s nice to talk to those students because you get a sense that when they say they’re interested they’re legitimately interested. Over the years we’ve started seeing students who are sophomores and juniors in high school coming to the Mustangs Rally which is awesome. We kind of get to give them a head start on what they can expect and how to apply.”

Students visiting informational booths
Karrington Bradley
By the afternoon, potential students are given the opportunity to visit tables and booths of the different departments and organizations on campus.

Talking and promoting organizations to these younger students can sometimes require a different approach than talking to a senior in high school or a transfer student.

Samantha Quintero, education freshman and member of Alpha Phi sorority, said that after learning the age and grade of a female student she would cater the pitch to that age group. With the younger students, she would tell them that Alpha Phi was always an option for their future and explain the significance of Greek life. With older students, she would talk about the philosophy and overall background of what Alpha Phi stands for.

Quintero spent the rest of her Saturday relaxing while those eager high school and transfer students made the trip home with new information to help them choose their future college.