Joplin, MO (SNS) – Surpassing numbers not seen in more than 15 years, a record number of new freshmen have enrolled at Missouri Southern State University.

During the Board of Governor’s meeting on Friday, Aug. 21, board members received an update on enrollment for the Fall 2015 semester. Enrollment (as of Thursday, Aug. 20) is up in several important categories.

Dr. Alan Marble, university president, said the numbers demonstrate a campus-wide commitment to moving the university forward.

“Year after year, we continue to see the reputation of this university advance,” said Marble. “With the quality of our programs and the addition of new facilities, more and more students are recognizing that they want to be part of the Lion family.”

Total enrollment at the university has grown by 2 percent to 5,721 students, up from 5,613 in Fall 2014. The number of new freshmen is up 12 percent over last year – 957, compared with 856 last year. The previous record was 950 freshmen in the fall of 1999.

Missouri Southern students are currently enrolled in 70,554 credit hours, up 7 percent from 66,163 in 2014.

The number of international and transfer students have also seen significant gains.

There are 218 international students enrolled at the university, up 13 percent from last fall’s 193. Transfer students are also up 13 percent – 654 compared with 581 in 2014.

During late registration scheduled for next week, the university anticipates an additional 150 dual-credit students to enroll.

Official numbers will be reported to the state on the 20th day of classes – Friday, Sept. 11.

Dr. Brad Hodson, the university’s executive vice president, said the numbers reflect the efforts of personnel across campus.

“At this point, we have recorded the largest freshmen class ever,” said Hodson. “We want to thank the staff in the Admissions Department for the work they do each day to get students enrolled, as well as our great faculty members who are helping to recruit, advise and mentor our students.

“Their endeavors are making Missouri Southern a destination for students across the region.”

In other business, head football coach Denver Johnson made a presentation to the board about the upcoming football season, highlighting program improvements, recruitment strategy changes and an update on the end zone facility. A ribbon-cutting event for the new building is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, before the Hall of Fame game.