This story is featured in the Fall 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU’s inspiring environment creates intentional learning opportunities for students.
HPU’s intentional design inspires students to rise up and meet life’s challenges.
Think your environment doesn’t matter? Think again.
Why do NFL teams pipe loud sound into their stadiums while practicing?
Why do military pilots use simulations to test their flight skills?
We thrive in real-life scenarios only if we test ourselves in a similar setting. We overcome life’s obstacles by surrounding ourselves with examples of those who’ve done it before us. We rise to the level of our surroundings.
At High Point University, students are surrounded by the extraordinary.
A Different Kind of Education
You recognize it as soon as you step on campus.
First, you’ll notice the people: A professor mentoring a student on their walk down the Kester International Promenade, the president pausing in the Slane Student Center Café to speak with a student, or a student holding the door for you.
When the university began its transformation under HPU President Nido Qubein’s leadership in 2005, campus didn’t just get bigger, although it quadrupled in size. It became more student-focused, with each element begging a fundamental question: How does this benefit our students?
There’s no denying the beauty of HPU — most families notice that first. But it isn’t about beauty; it’s about intentional living.
The inspiring quotes featured on wall murals and stamped along the walkways are placed among sculptures of notable historical figures that line the promenade — a reminder of life’s possibilities.
Then there are state-of-the-art facilities that foster academic success.
The trading room inside the Wilson School of Commerce features a live stock ticker and trading software. Executive boardrooms throughout campus allow students to present themselves in a corporate setting. The newly updated TV studio, equipped with cutting edge technology in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, ensures students will be comfortable in a real-world newsroom.
In 1924 Prime, HPU’s fine dining restaurant and learning lab, students are educated on formal dining etiquette and international cuisine — skills put to good use beyond graduation when business deals and interviews are conducted over dinner.
Inside Cottrell Hall, you’ll find the International Student Concourse, an anchor to the building’s international theme.
It’s home to the airplane fuselage — the profile of a plane’s interior, complete with reclining seats and inspirational quotes that scroll through the windows of the plane.
Sure, it’s an attention grabber that intrigues campus visitors. But it provides a tangible lesson for students, teaching them how to turn everyday encounters into networking opportunities. Air travel offers endless opportunities to meet people.
Seated next to the CEO of a top-tier company? Instead of wasting hours in silence, students know how to conduct themselves and capitalize on these occasions. They’ve practiced on the HPU campus.
When students have been immersed in professional settings for years, they grow confident and unintimidated.
HPU senior Corinne King recognizes this. The HPU environment has prepared her to pursue greatness at every turn.
On their transformational journey from college student to career professional, students often pause and realize how the physical surroundings of HPU have prepared them for life’s defining moments.
For King, a summer spent in Washington, D.C., interning with the U.S. House of Representatives proved the value of HPU’s preparation.
“Capitol Hill runs off coffee dates,” says the Farmington, Connecticut native. “It was not unusual for a networking opportunity or an interview to take place over daily coffee in a casual, chance setting.”
King recognized and knew how to seize the moment — a product of HPU’s environment.
“The airplane interactions HPU instills are not far off from the real world,” says King. “HPU exposes you to the reality that you don’t know who you’ll end up sitting next to on an airplane or who you’ll run into at the Capitol Building. The knowledge that you should prepare to take advantage of those situations is what gives HPU students an edge in the marketplace.”
HPU students come to appreciate these special corners of HPU’s campus. For King, it was the airplane fuselage.
For Curtis Pope Jr., it was the statue of Atlas.
Inspiration You Didn’t Know You Needed
A sculpture can exist for the entirety of a student’s educational journey, but in a single moment bring so much meaning and inspiration that it becomes a turning point the student was seeking.
In July 2017, while earning his Master of Science in athletic training at HPU, Pope was struggling in his anatomy class.
He left the library after a late study night and found himself at the base of HPU’s Atlas statue. He sat on the steps that circle the base of the statue and faced Roberts Hall from across the lawn.
He was taunted by thoughts of giving up.
“Looking back, it feels like fate drew me to that spot at that moment,” Pope says.
Sitting there, he realized that the statue and him had something in common: the weight of the world on their shoulders.
He was struck with the realization that he couldn’t quit. As a member of HPU’s first athletic training cohort, he knew that finishing the program would cement him in HPU history — it was bigger than his personal journey.
He decided that no task was insurmountable if he put his mind to it. He was inspired.
In May, Pope crossed the stage at Commencement having earned his master’s in athletic training.
His story is one of many. It proves the power of environment and the clearly defined moments of inspiration sparked by HPU’s physical surroundings.