Campus Update | Summer 2021

Summer is typically a busy time at Maranatha with campus construction, new faculty moving to town, and new academic programs being refined. Summer 2021 was no exception.  

New Faculty

In the spring semester, Maranatha welcomed several new faculty members to the MBU family.  

In March, the School of Education faculty were joined by two new members. Bethany Howard and Megan Haynes form the new Special Education team and are excited to work with the next generation of Special Education teachers.  

April found two new additions – one in the Humanities department and one in the Music department. Stephen Robertson joined the Humanities faculty with years of theatre experience. Robertson looks forward to working with Christian young people from all walks of life in MBU’s theatre programs. Andrew Bonnema joined the Music faculty in April to assume the responsibilities of retiring faculty member, Dr. Rick Townsend. He will be working closely with the Music Education program and aims to encourage students to give God alone the glory for all things.  

Katie Schmoeckel joined the Humanities and Education departments as a history professor in June. She brings a strong passion for history and a heart for ministry that she is excited to share with her students.  

In other news, Angela Morris was named Chair of the Humanities department in April. During her 30 years teaching at Maranatha, Morris has embraced the humanities—teaching English (Grammar and Composition), Speech (Fundamentals of Public Speaking, Oral Interpretation, Teaching Children’s Drama, and Persuasion), Linguistics, TESOL classes, and Online Communication courses. She is humbled by her appointment and is thankful for the team of professors that she will be working with. 

Not only did the summer see new faces, but some renovated spaces as well. 

New Spaces

Summer is a major project time for Maranatha’s Facilities Management team. 2021 renovations included new carpet in Hilsen dorm, a bathroom remodel in Melford dorm, resurfacing and fixing the drainage on the soccer field, and updating the showers in the men’s locker room, a project which will continue into the semester. The IT office was busy installing new computers in the Library computer labs while Facilities remodeled one of the second-floor classrooms in Old Main.  

The Alumni Association began building a fire pit behind the Dining Complex early in the summer. The contractor began laying stone in mid-July with the intent of having the project completed by Alumni Weekend at the end of August.  

The Gymnasium saw major renovations over the summer. After over 40 years of use, it was time for a new foundation in the main gym. Before the 2021 Commencement, the bleachers were removed to prep the gym for new flooring. After Commencement, the wood and concrete were removed from the gym. New concrete was laid in early June and the layers of wood and padding were installed. Once the floor was sanded, staining and painting began mid-July.  

Outside of the gym, a drainage system was installed in the parking lot to prevent minor flooding by the entrance to the Athletic Offices. By mid-July, the parking lot curb was complete, and the new sidewalk was well underway. The new parking lot will be finished before JumpStart Weekend.  

Students coming to MBU in Fall 2021 will have the opportunity to enjoy many of these renovated areas. But Applied Science and Accounting (CPA) majors will have more to look forward to than just a new classroom.  

New Programs

The Department of Applied Science and the School of Business were excited to each launch a new program for their students to begin in Fall 2021.   

The Bachelor of Science in Mathematics was announced in mid-May. This Applied Science degree program aims to provide undergraduate students with a strong foundation in a variety of mathematics topics, preparing them to be leaders in their subsequent career endeavors or in potential further mathematical studies. 

The School of Business announced in April that Accounting CPA majors have the option to pursue a master’s while finishing their undergraduate degree. While this Bachelor’s to Master’s pathway is optional, students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to earn a Master of Organizational Leadership or a Master of Nonprofit Administration.  

While new faculty, renovations, and new programs are exciting, nothing compares to the excitement that grips campus when the incoming class arrives and returning students are back. Each of the aforementioned changes was made with them in mind so that they may be trained to be leaders in the church and the world “to the praise of His glory.”