Mars Hill University President Strengthening Ties With Local High Schools

A small, close-knit campus environment; an affordable, quality education, close to home; and supportive relationships with faculty and staff are just some of the reasons that local students should consider seeking higher education opportunities at Mars Hill University, according to president Tony Floyd.
This was the message that Floyd brought to students as well as administrators and faculty at Madison High School on Wednesday, February 12. He visited the high school with the university’s new esports coach, Sterling Henderson, and admissions counselor, Andrew McKinney (a Madison graduate.
“I want local students to know that we care about them and their futures,” Floyd said. “I want Madison High School students to come to Mars Hill University and be a part of our history and tradition. We have a lot to offer them but I can tell that they have a great deal to offer us as engaged students as well.”
Coach Henderson also spoke with a number of students, introducing them to the university’s new esports athletic team and club team. According to Henderson, the new esports program will offer a different dimension to life at MHU that may resonate with some students, who may not have a strong interest in traditional sports.
“There is a new excitement at Mars Hill University around the emergence of esports on campus, as both a varsity team sport and as a club sport. And many high school students may connect with the idea of that opportunity being part of their university experience,” Henderson said. “I believe the esports program will play a factor in a lot of future students’ decision to attend Mars Hill, as well as encourage them to really engage with all the university has to offer.”
According to Floyd, this visit to Madison High is the first in a series of visits planned for both him and for Coach Henderson, to emphasize MHU’s commitment to its local community and to find ways to strengthen the connections between Mars Hill University and the larger communities of western North Carolina.
“I want the local community to know that we see Mars Hill University as a community resource and an economic catalyst, as one of the largest employers in the county. We also see our University as a partner with the local schools, businesses, churches, and medical facilities. Whether it is a resource for lifelong learning, the arts, athletics, or recreation, we want to be a part of the community of Madison County and western North Carolina,” he said.
Among the messages that Floyd shared with high school seniors, is that financial aid makes it possible for local students who want to continue their education close to home to afford an education at Mars Hill.
A major piece of that affordability message is the Local Lion Promise, which was established in October 2019. The Local Lion Promise guarantees 50% off tuition for students who come to MHU and are residents of Buncombe, Madison, Mitchell, or Yancey counties.
“We recognize that Western North Carolina has extremely talented students who love the mountains and want to stay in a setting like Mars Hill. We want to help them find their way in education and enable them to chase their dreams at an affordable cost. Mars Hill University has rededicated itself to connecting local students to good jobs and great futures in a vibrant economy in this part of the world,” Floyd said.
“The future is bright for Madison County, for western North Carolina, and for Mars Hill University, and we want to be at the center of supporting our community and being a positive influence for the future.”