News

Athletic and Academic Programs Bring Large Cohort of Summer Guests to Campus

by Bill Giduz

Though Davidson offers no on-campus summer school for undergraduates, the campus will host a great deal of athletic and academic activity during the next ten weeks.

While students are away on summer break, a plethora of programs and camps will keep college staff busy maintaining lodging for them and feeding their participants. John Barnhart, assistant manager of guest services, manages the summer ebb and flow of guests with help from three conference assistants -- Adrienne Johnson '08, Molly Marshall '15 and Nalyn Siripanichgon '16. Barnhart said as many as 1,500 clients will be on campus during the busiest weeks of the summer season, with a total of about 6,000 individuals.

Barnhart said that last year's similar number of visitors generated $1.3 million revenue for the college. But he emphasized that income is not the singular goal of Davidson's summer programs. "Certainly, it helps us keep our people employed, but the programming remains focused on the college mission and the college family. We only host sports camps run by our own coaches, and almost all of the other activities are educational."

Davidson's coaches will present 30 sessions of mostly residential sports camps for men and women, including basketball, football, soccer, swimming, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, and lacrosse. The soccer and men's basketball camps enroll as many as 250 participants for their sessions. "Vail Commons gets to be a pretty active place at lunch time," Barnhart said. "They do an excellent job of scheduling to get everyone fed and rotated through with minimal backlog."

Most of the non-sports groups this year are repeat summer guests. The college will again host two week-long sessions of the Advanced Placement Institute, which trains high school teachers of AP classes to help their students succeed in those upper-level courses. Another academic endeavor, Duke University's Talent Identification Program, will again bring to campus almost 500 young scholars enrolled in two three-week academically-oriented sessions.

Davidson's own long-running July Experience collegiate experience will enroll about 110 rising high school juniors and seniors. They will take two classes daily, taught by regular Davidson faculty members, in subjects such as "Love and Death in Short Fiction," "Life in the Global Village," "Bones and Clandestine Graves" and "The Family and Justice."

Davidson's admissions office will also host 50 or so alumni and their progeny June 13-14 for the annual McNab Program, which offers high school students advice and counsel about the college admission process.

The college's Francophone Studies and German Studies departments will each welcome 20 or so high school language teachers from around the state for one-week intensive language institutes.

One new program scheduled this summer is the five-day Carolina Vegetation Survey, a UNC-based research program that documents the composition and status of the natural vegetation in the Carolinas for monitoring of environmental impact and assessment of conservation status.

Other events expected on campus include a day-long corporate seminar, a meeting of the National Internship Consortium that will be hosted by Davidson's Career Services office, some wedding receptions, and a meeting of up to 100 municipal leaders for the Southeast Regional Health Impact Assessment Summit. That gathering stems from a Center for Disease Control grant to the Town of Davidson aimed at improving public health. The grant calls for Davidson to teach the methodology and techniques to representatives from other towns.