William Woods University welcomes one of its largest classes ever—approximately 280 new students—to campus today (Tuesday, Aug. 19). The traditional Ivy Chain Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. will highlight a weeklong series of events orienting freshmen and new students to WWU.
The campus will be alive with activity all day, as freshmen and transfer students move in to residence halls, and they and their families attend orientation sessions.
Among the new students are some from as far away as England, Japan, Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago and Yugoslavia. Overall, 15 nations are represented by the WWU student body.
The addition of the new students brings the current William Woods enrollment to 2,253, with more than 3,000 expected before the year is over as new cohorts in the Graduate and Adult Studies program are formed. Minority students represent 20 percent of the incoming class.
The Ivy Chain Ceremony around Senior Lake at 4:30 p.m. today will follow a 2:30 p.m. “President’s Welcome” in Cutlip Auditorium. The President’s barbeque for students and their families will be held immediately after the Ivy Chain Ceremony.
The Ivy Chain Ceremony marks the start of the students’ college life. When they graduate, the ivy will be cut during another ceremony, symbolizing separation from college and the beginning of a new life. The tradition is believed to have begun more than a hundred years ago when the Class of 1899 planted ivy on campus during a special graduation ceremony.
Wednesday morning the new students will participate in “Freshman Experience,” an introduction to the academic life of the campus. Thursday morning they will have the opportunity to “Learn the Ropes” and get to know their peers and current students through fun and challenging experiences.
Other orientation activities during the week include academic testing, employment sessions, discussions on diversity and introductory sessions on WWU’s unique LEAD (Leading, Educating, Achieving and Developing) program of student involvement.
There will be time for fun, too. Social activities are planned each evening, including an ice cream social tonight, movie night Wednesday, an international dinner and game show Thursday, water games, carnival dinner and games and a dance party Friday, Frisbee golf and a soccer scrimmage Saturday and a float trip Sunday.
Women’s sorority recruitment begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday and continues Thursday and Friday. A “Men’s Night Out” for all men will be held Wednesday, with men’s fraternity recruitment beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday and continuing Friday during the day. Bids will be delivered to women at 8 a.m. Saturday and to men at 9 a.m.
A “Taste of Fulton” will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, allowing new students to become acquainted with what the city’s restaurants have to offer. A 4 p.m. session in Thurmond Chapel on “Continuing Your Faith at College” and a residential life and campus safety session Sunday evening round out the orientation week activities.
Fall semester classes at William Woods begin Monday, Aug. 25.