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ETBU celebrates highest recorded spring enrollment

February 4, 2020

The start of the Spring 2020 semester at East Texas Baptist commenced with two exciting milestones for the University community. In addition to the opening of Chick-fil-A on the University campus, ETBU celebrated an official spring enrollment of 1,405 students—the highest recorded spring enrollment in the University’s 108-year history.

“We are thankful to God for the blessings of new and returning students for the Spring 2020 semester,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “I am grateful for our entire University staff and faculty for their outstanding work to humbly serve our students.  We can boast that our campus community recognizes that positive, encouraging relationships developed with students have significant, transformative impacts on student satisfaction, development, and success. We celebrate the commitment and connectivity with our Christ-centered calling to educate, equip, and empower students.”

Along with increased enrollment, East Texas Baptist has seen an 89% retention rate of fall-to-spring students for three consecutive years. The spring semester also displays an all-time high enrollment for students beginning graduate programs.

“I decided to stay and pursue a master’s degree at ETBU this semester because the staff here gets to know you as a person, and not just another student in their classroom. Everyone treats each other like family and pushes one another to do better,” graduate student Kaleigh Smith said. “When I came to ETBU and met Dr. Mulkey, my whole outlook on school changed. She took the time to get to know me and helped me see that I could do this. She pushed me to do better in all of my classes. My journey as a Christian has unfolded before me, I got closer with God, and now I understand the Bible way more than I ever have before. If I would have gone to another university, then I wouldn’t have been able to do this.”

East Texas Baptist University continues to reach greater populations of students through extensive recruiting and admissions efforts. The first Preview Day of 2020 brought hundreds of potential Tigers and their parents to the Hill, where they were able to gain insight into the University experience by attending college life information panels, learning about opportunities for financial aid, and touring campus.

“ETBU was appealing to me, because I love the music education and theatre programs. I’m very excited about becoming a member of the Tiger marching band,” prospective student Beau Creech from Elysian Fields, Texas commented. “Preview Day was very helpful. I learned many things about becoming a Tiger, and I’m sure when I get here, I’ll find lots of ways to get connected.”

Quality academic programs and student life activities continue to contribute to a positive and dynamic student experience, drawing hundreds of prospective students to campus each semester. While East Texas Baptist continues to see increased enrollment, the mission of providing a transformational, Christ-centered education through biblical faith and learning integration remains paramount.

“The University’s commitment to the integration of academic discipline and faith in Jesus Christ is symbolized by the ‘light of knowledge’, which stands in front of Marshall Hall,” ETBU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “Our faculty and staff are passionate about participating in every student’s academic and spiritual development. Students who choose to be an ETBU Tiger will find excellent programs, caring support, and a genuine community.”

Those interested in attending East Texas Baptist University can join the next Preview Day on February 17, or Tiger Day on March 28. Find more information on campus visits at