PHILIPPI, W.Va. (WBOY) — Many people that were involved with Alderson Broaddus University are still left in scrambles as to what’s next regarding the university’s closure.
The university was roughly two weeks out from the beginning of its academic year before its closure was publicly announced. 12 News spoke with Anna Hester, who would’ve been an incoming freshman at Alderson Broaddus, on her process throughout the situation.
“Everyone talks about freshman year; you find your dream school, don’t settle for a school that doesn’t feel like home and I found that with AB, so it is kind of a bummer that it shut down but I’m willing to make the best of wherever I end up,” Hester said.
Anna is a graduate of Wheeling Central Catholic High School where she competed as a varsity cheerleader for four years. Hester’s high school cheer choreographer was also the assistant cheer coach of Alderson Broaddus and had recruited Anna to the team.
Before she visited AB, Anna believed that she was set on West Virginia University, but upon her arrival in Philippi, she instantly knew that she was home.
“Once I got down there and met both of the coaches, I met the cheer captain and she became my best friend, I still talk to her on a day-to-day basis, and she was actually going to be my roommate. Just the family environment and knowing that I had a team waiting for me, it was just more of a family than anything else. So, it made the decision really easy to go to Alderson Broaddus,” Hester said.
Set to receive two $15,000 scholarships in both academics and athletics, Anna was thrilled to begin her studies at AB. It wasn’t until she was on vacation with her family that she heard the news about Alderson Broaddus’ closure through a direct message from an upperclassman of the university.
After asking her soon-to-be roommate if what she heard was true, Anna was sent a web article from Facebook confirming what she had heard. Shortly after that, her head cheer coach gathered the team on a group Facetime call and discussed that the school year would not be beginning as expected.
Hester said that she only received official information on Aug. 3 about the school’s closure, despite it being made public before that.
“I think they could’ve been better at getting the information out there. I just got an email yesterday from the president about it actually closing after it had already been made public, so that kind of threw me off,” Hester said.
Hester took action sooner than later out of fear of falling behind schedule and met with guidance counselors from her high school to find a different university to enroll in. Although it wasn’t her first option, or even truly an option to begin with, Anna was accepted into West Liberty University and will continue to cheer there.
“Never say never because I was like, ‘I will never go to West Lib! It’s about thirty minutes from my house, I was like ‘that’s way too close, I need some distance, I’m definitely not going there.’ Then once I found everything out, I was like ‘maybe I’m just meant to stay home’,” Hester said.
Hester is set to move into her dorm at West Liberty University next week and is continuing to carry a positive outlook on the situation as a whole.