With the closing of the Fort Wayne campus of Taylor University on May 31st, that campus’ largest major, professional writing, will be relocating to the school’s main campus in Upland, Indiana. Of the 86 current professional writing (PWR) majors, 50 will be transferring to Upland and 21 will be graduating in May.
“In some ways it is sad to leave the Fort Wayne campus after being here 14 years,” says Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, director of the Taylor PWR program. “However, we are going to have bigger offices, larger classrooms, a more diverse library, and extra computer labs on the Upland campus, all of which will greatly enhance our program.”
Hensley, the author of 51 books, came to Taylor’s Fort Wayne campus in 1997 with the directive to create a professional writing major. It was officially declared a major in 2000 and rapidly became the fastest growing major in the university’s history. Graduates of the program are now successful editors with magazines and book publishers, directors of public relations firms, novelists and screenwriters, and owners of bookstores.
“With 50 students making the transfer to Upland with us, and an estimated 25 new freshmen coming into the major next fall, we will be back up to our current numbers and then far beyond within just a year or two,” says Hensley. Making the transition with him will be Dr. Pamela Jordan-Long, former chair of the Taylor Fort Wayne English Department, who will serve as Hensley’s director of operations, as well as a professor of literature and writing. “We developed this program together in Fort Wayne,” Hensley says of Jordan-Long, “and we are confident it will be equally as successful in Upland.”
Students enrolled in professional writing take a wide range of courses, including classes in journalism, poetry, literature, business and technical writing, desktop publishing, advanced editing, fiction writing, freelance magazine writing, and screenwriting. Each student must also complete a practicum with a newspaper, magazine, book publisher or PR firm.
“The success of our program has stemmed from the fact that our students get published quickly and continuously in both Christian and secular markets,” explains Hensley. “They are given pragmatic training not just in how to write professionally, but also in how to market their manuscripts. They start earning money as writers the very first semester they arrive on campus.”
Persons interested in finding more information about the professional writing major at Taylor may phone Dr. Hensley at 744-8647 or log onto the Taylor University web site at TaylorUniversity.com.