Soft light spills across Eagle Field on a balmy summer evening. A dull clunk as the bat connects with the ball prompts a slight groan to ripple through the crowd interspersed on the bleachers. Others cheer. “That’s the way to do it; let’s go guys,” someone calls out.
Playing sports like softball is just one of many ways that student workers spend their free time in the summer. Hiking at nearby national parks, kayaking down a local river, exploring the Pensacola Historic District, visiting hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, and volunteering in a variety of Christian Service opportunities are others.
Each spring, over 800 students stay to work after the semester ends—from customer service at Abeka to the bakery in Varsity to the Advertising Services Department and beyond, these students literally keep the campus alive with their skills, creativity, and unique personalities.
But there’s more to the summer work experience than clocking in for work each day. Phil Hollandsworth, Eagles Events Coordinator, said, “We create a family atmosphere and provide activities they typically don’t get to do during the school year. We also divide them into summer teams and provide prizes in sports, residence hall life, character in the work place, and Christian Service.”
Nick White (Abeka Office), a junior, is spending his third summer working on campus. He said, “PCC does a great job of trying to make sure we’re still having fun and not just working all the time.” Whether it’s broom hockey in the Sports Center, basketball in the Field House, or softball on Eagle Field, Nick, an avid sports player, is right there participating.
Incoming freshmen Blake Kiser (Grounds) chose to apply for the summer work program so he could make friends and experience life on campus before the semester starts. “Not only do you get to enjoy the atmosphere of a Christian work environment, but you also get to know people around you and learn the campus before the semester starts,” he said. “It also gives me a chance to graduate debt free. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for college, but this is really helping out.”
Megz Goffe, a senior (Advertising Services Department), loves the relaxed atmosphere on campus during the summer as well as the opportunity to enhance her résumé. “There aren’t as many people on campus, and it’s easier to meet and grow closer to people,” she said. “I love my work atmosphere, and I love the fact that I’m gaining experience in the field that I’m studying. The things that I’m learning now will help me with my classes next semester as well as with future jobs.”
This year, in addition to the usual Fourth of July campus festivities like sandpit volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and a special cookout, the College also set off fireworks later in the week. Reds, blues, gold, and silver, lit up the night sky, making it another memorable summer evening on campus.