About Macon State
By Sheron Smith
At a College where the enrollment increased 73 percent over a seven-year period, Bruce Applewhite is expected to play a major role in making sure that reasonable and manageable growth trends continue.
As Macon State’s new director of admissions, he’s ready for the challenge.
“Macon State has so much going for it that we’re going to continue to attract quality applicants,” Applewhite said. “The more four-year programs the College adds, the more students there are who will want to come here. The campuses look great, and studies show that’s one of the most important factors in college selection. Macon State has many things to offer prospective students.”
Applewhite, 45, is a former admissions officer at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. After nearly 20 years in the business, he has a long track record of developing successful college recruitment and retention strategies.
“We are excited that Bruce has brought his considerable skills to the admissions team,” said Dee Minter, associate vice president for enrollment services. “I’m confident he is the right person to help take Macon State to the next level.”
A native of Jackson, Miss., Applewhite earned a bachelor of business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1984. He went to work for J.C. Penney as a merchandiser trainee, but soon realized that corporate retail wasn’t for him.
He moved to Tifton, where his parents had retired, and began work on a finance degree at Valdosta State University. Applewhite, thinking he’d eventually like to start his own business, took what at the time he figured would be a “bridge” job in the ABAC admissions office.
He’s worked in college admissions ever since.
“There’s nothing like helping a student make a new transition in life,” Applewhite said. “I’m always telling prospective students that the most important factor in determining college success is determination and desire, not intelligence. Those of us who work in admissions are here to show students that once they take the first step, everything gets easier from there.”
Applewhite had kept up with Macon State’s progress through Minter, whom he knew through the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. (He is the group’s president-elect.) When the Macon State admissions director’s job became open, he jumped at the opportunity to apply.
“Once I visited the campus, I knew it was the place for me,” he said. “I hadn’t been to Macon State in a while, and I was amazed at all the new facilities and the campus beautification projects. It’s one of the nicest campuses in the University System in terms of aesthetics and the people who work here, and I really wanted to be a part of that.”