ETBU students arrive on campus and begin the Fall semester

The 2022-2023 academic year is off to an exciting start at East Texas Baptist University. After a summer spent working, traveling, and serving, students returned to the Hill for August Mini-Term classes, Move-In Day, Tiger Camp, and the official start of the Fall 2022 semester on August 15.

“Our students have the opportunity to embrace all that is before them on the Hill and beyond,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “ETBU is not just about education; it is about the transformation God wants students to experience. Education is key to that transformation, but to only get a degree and not get Jesus means one has missed the point during their time on the Hill. So, as we start this academic year, I pray that Jesus would be in us and among us.”

Each year, faculty, staff, and students line up outside campus residence halls to help incoming freshmen and new transfer students with the heavy lifting that move-in days typically require. For years, this tradition has continued in hopes that the move-in process is seamless and stress-free for new students and their families.

“This has been the best move-in experience out of four different colleges,” ETBU parent Amy Robichaux said. “Saying goodbye to my son is going to be sad, but I want him to meet people, make good grades, and be happy at ETBU.”

After settling into their new Home on the Hill, new Tigers ease their way into college life and meet their peers during Tiger Camp, a weekend full of activities designed to connect them with campus life and their new college community through outdoor games, fellowship, and info sessions.

“Tiger Camp helps students not only grow and learn about how to be a college student but to have fun and see the community that exists around them,” senior Tiger Camp Blue Crew Captain Jayden Williams said. “We want to show that we care about these students, and we want to pour into their lives to have a successful first year of college. As a new student, I participated in Tiger Camp and met one of my closest friends in my small group. Fast forward to now serving as a leader, it showed me how much time and preparation goes into Tiger Camp and how I can impact the students’ lives, just like my leaders impacted mine!”

The first week of classes marked the start of an exciting semester, kicking off with a chapel service led by Reverend James Webb, who encouraged the campus community to be on fire for the Lord and trust Him through all circumstances.

“We need to be holy, we need to be obedient, but lastly, we need to be trusting,” Rev. Webb said. “The University’s theme Scripture says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ Many of us are afraid, and many of us have fallen. Still, I believe in my heart of hearts that we need to trust the Lord regardless of what happens on campus, regardless of the fact that you’re going to get homesick, regardless of the fact that you may not have the same number of friends that you had when you left home. You need to trust in the Lord and His plan for you.”