Tabor students drawn from far away for myriad reasons

Local students attend Tabor College, but Tabor has many students who travel many hours to come to school.

A third of the students on the Hillsboro campus come from out of state or even from out of the country.

?Most students come to Tabor through a referral, either themselves or alumni contact us,? said Glenn Lygrisse, vice president for enrollment management. ?We really push campus visits. We feel it is important for the students to have an awareness of the school and town.?

Including Kansas, 22 states and four countries?Brazil, Haiti, South Africa and Canada?are represented at Tabor. Roughly 30 students from Hillsboro attend Tabor.

Sophomore Herb Weibe comes to Hillsboro from Winnipeg, Man. It takes him 16 hours to get home, about 950 miles away.

?I grew up in a (Mennonite Brethren) church,? he said. ?My parents were missionaries and we visited Hillsboro when I was 11 and that?s when I heard of Tabor.?

Weibe, a soccer player, was surprised with how dedicated people were in the community to support the athletes here in Hillsboro.

?I really like it how they support both the high school and the college,? he said. Weibe?s favorite part of Hillsboro is the community atmosphere.

Weibe plans to graduate from Tabor with a double major in bibical religious studies and pysciology.

Traveling to Kansas from Akron, Pa., is freshman Lesley McJunkin. Her drive is about 20 hours.

?Both of my parents graduated from here,? she said. McJunkin and her family used to live in Kansas before moving Pennsylvania.

?I really like how friendly the people are here, but I don?t like it that there is nothing to do,? she said.

From Haiti to Hillsboro, freshman Fonia Charles said she didn?t experience any culture shock when she came to Tabor.

?I used to come to the U.S. for the summers, and I?m from a small town,? she said.

Before attending the college Charles had never visited the campus. ?My parents know Lon Fendall and they came and visited, but I hadn?t ever been here.?

?It takes over six hours to get home by plane,? she said. Charles hasn?t gone home this year and does not plan to go home until summer.

Freshman Derrik White from Tucson, Ariz., made his first appearance in Hillsboro in August 1999 just prior to his first semester.

White traveled home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. ?It is a 23-hour drive, but I flew,? he said.

?I like it here, I came here to play football and we are building a program,? he said. ?I don?t like it that there aren?t many minorities here and that there is nothing to do.?

Christina Taylor, sophomore from Ft. Worth, Texas, believes being a culturally diverse school is crucial in Tabor?s ability to educate and prepare students for the multicultural world. She and her husband, Robert, travel more than 400 miles when they go home.

Freshman Valerie Van Bockel comes from Gettysburg, S.D.

?I go to an MB church and had been to Tabor for youth conferences before coming to visit the college during Tabor days last year,? she said.

?I like how small the campus is, but I wish the town was bigger,? she added.

Hoyt plans to graduate from Tabor with a degree in elementary education.

Senior Brian Rogers moved to Hillsboro from Chicago. Another student making the huge transition from city to village was sophomore Pete Kleinsasser, who moved from San Diego, Calif. Freshman Brian Davis travels eight hours each time he goes home to Little Rock, Ark.

?The hardest thing about moving from the city is getting used to not ever having anything to do,? he said.

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