OSKALOOSA — A record number of students have enrolled for the fall term at William Penn University. 1,009 students to be exact, and all of them are eager to explore the campus and the community.

The William Penn University Community and Organization fair, held Thursday, Sept. 5, introduced new and returning students to many things the community has to offer.

William Penn University Communications Events Coordinator Miranda Keeler said the fair helps students learn more about the Oskaloosa community.

“This event allows students to see a full range of businesses and organizations that can help them become more involved in their community, no matter where they come from,” she said.

The organizations and businesses included financial and healthcare providers, insurance providers and several clubs. There were also several churches, including Gateway Church of the Nazarene, First Christian Church, and Central Reformed Church.

Many of the vendors commented on how well the event was attended, and how much they enjoyed meeting the students from all walks of life.

Several of the vendors were also looking for volunteers too, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Mahaska County.

Erica Fry, Operations Manager for the George Daily Community Auditorium, shared information with students about their upcoming theater season.

“We’re having a drawing to give away free tickets to one of the shows, and this event helps us share with the students everything our theater season has to offer,” she said.

Destiny Reyes, a sophomore majoring in Psychology, and Andres Mayberry, a sophomore majoring in English, both stopped by several different vendor tables together, including the George Daily Community Auditorium table to sign up for a chance to win the free tickets.

A small group of students making their way down one aisle could be overheard discussing how they all appreciated how the vendors were so friendly and generous, and how they might need bigger bags for all the freebies.

Ashley Schultz, owner of Muse Music Store, had some freebies of her own to offer at her booth, in the form of free guitar picks and a chance to enter a drawing to win a free t-shirt.

“We’re excited about opening up our new store, and we are anxious to let all the students know about everything we have to offer,” she said.

In fact, those students have a 52 million dollar impact on Mahaska County’s local economy from August to May, according to sources cited at the Sept. 5 William Penn Advisory Board Meeting.

Herald Staff Writer Richard Rindt can be reached at rrindt@oskyherald.com

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