Baylor students are back and a large herd of bears it is. Monday is the first day of classes for 2,300 freshmen at Baylor, just shy of a record. There are 15,000 students overall.
The doors are open, the welcome signs are out, and Baylor students are already hitting up the local shops.
"I just stopped by for the first time," said Hannah Maguire. She is new to Texas, Waco, and college. "Being a freshman, I mean it's a little overwhelming but it's been fun," she said.
And she already knows where to go for her dorm room decor.
"A big big part of our business is the Baylor students," said Alicia Hart, owner of Harts N' Crafts in Waco. Hart hires more staff at when school starts. Baylor pretty much is her business and sales certainly go up for the next few months. "And then in January when a lot of retailers might be slower, we stay busy with the greek sales," she says.
Eateries are just as eager to welcome back both Baylor faculty and students.
"We get very busy very quickly. We go from almost not busy to super busy over night," said Terry Otto, co-owner of Food for Thought in Waco.
Baylor generates more than $1 billion in the Waco Metro Area economy.
Many of the freshman are attracted Baylor sports teams.
"You get to see a lot of celebrities actually, so it's pretty cool," said Freshman, Zach Vanderslice. When asked if the sports players are like celebrities, he and Stephanie Scoggin said, "Yeah, they're on ESPN man!"
Hannah came for the academics, but even her friends back in Arizona were excited about Baylor sports.
"People were like wow, Baylor. They have a good this team and this team and all over the place so it's really exciting," said Hannah.
Stores like Harts N' Crafts literally cater to Baylor students with custom made clothing, all the way down to green and gold sunglasses.
By the way, Baylor is spending $120 million this year on a variety of improvements on campus.