When Marshall University begins fall classes on Monday, Aug. 25, its freshmen will be well prepared and - hopefully - comfortable in their new surroundings.
At least that is the plan, said Dr. Gayle Ormiston, MU’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. As usual, Marshall officials have planned a large number of fun and informative activities for the incoming freshmen as part of the annual Week of Welcome (WOW), which runs from Wednesday, Aug. 20, through Sunday, Aug. 24, on MU’s Huntington campus.
“Week of Welcome is exactly that - a week dedicated to all freshmen, a week welcoming them to Marshall University,” Ormiston said. “It is important that the freshmen feel comfortable with the university before classes start on Aug. 25. We really want to make the transition into college as smooth and easy as possible for all of our new students.”
In the days leading up to the start of classes, about 1,700 freshmen will take part in WOW activities. The freshmen will actually begin their first class at Marshall during Week of Welcome. The UNI 100 Freshman First Class is an introduction to academic structures and expectations of college life. Those who successfully complete the course earn one hour of elective credit.
The course is made up of two parts: (1) attending large group sessions and small class sessions during Week of Welcome, and (2) attending seven additional 50-minute class sessions, once per week in the first seven weeks of the semester.
“The excitement is building as Week of Welcome will be here in just a few days,” said Sherri Stepp, director of Marshall’s University College. “Staff and student volunteers are getting everything ready for the event to begin. We are preparing to stuff student packets, unpacking boxes of T-shirts and making sure all of our class sessions and social events are ready when the students arrive.”
Stepp said MU has worked all year to plan this event to welcome its new students and help them feel at home at Marshall.
“It’s a great time to meet new people, explore new ideas and just get acquainted with campus and the Huntington community,” she said. “We will provide them with information that will support their entire experience at Marshall University and we hope to have a lot of fun.”
Week of Welcome and UNI 100 provide an opportunity for students to arrive early to campus and make new friends, Stepp said. They will meet President (Stephen) Kopp at the President’s Convocation, meet their academic deans at their college sessions, and begin learning the things they need to know to help them be successful students both academically and socially.
Among the most popular events of WOW are the family picnic, the President’s Convocation and the group photo. The picnic will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, on the student center plaza. The group photo will be taken at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, at the John Marshall Statue, located in the circle between Old Main and the Drinko Library.
The convocation, held in recent years at the Cam Henderson Center, starts at 9:45 a.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in downtown Huntington. Students will meet in their UNI 100 classrooms at 8:30 a.m., walk to the John Marshall statue, then head west on 4th Avenue to the Keith-Albee at 9:15 a.m. At the conclusion of the convocation the students will walk back to campus in time for 11 a.m. sessions.
The convocation will be streamed live at www.marshall.edu/it/livestream.
Commuter students and students living on campus will need to check in for Week of Welcome on Wednesday, Aug. 20, in the Marshall Recreation Center. For any commuter students who cannot check in on Wednesday, there will be a short registration time on Thursday morning before the Freshman First Class session in the Henderson Center arena.