William Woods Welcomes Incoming Students With Ivy Chain Ceremony

William Woods University will welcome more than 330 new students to campus on Thursday, Aug. 18. 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 into residence halls, and they and their families attend orientation sessions.


“Orientation is a week full of activities designed to both develop a comfort level with the campus and to begin forming relationships with faculty, staff and other students that will ease student transition,” Michelle Kemp, director of student success and transition, said.


“Coming to college is a huge event in students’ lives, so Orientation is all about helping them make that transition.”


Although enrollment figures are subject to change right through the first week of classes, as of Tuesday, 331 new students—freshmen and transfer students—made up the incoming class, with approximately 180 of them coming from Missouri. Thirty-six states and eight foreign countries are represented.


The Ivy Chain Ceremony around Senior Lake at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday will follow a 2:30 p.m. “President’s Welcome and Parents’ Resource Fair” in Dulany Auditorium while students meet in Cutlip Auditorium to learn about academics at WWU. 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.

Friday morning the new students will participate in “Making College Count,” an introduction to the academic life of the campus, including success tips from a student panel. Saturday 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 sessions on faith services, student employment, the history of WWU, theatre etiquette, diversity and campus safety.


Also planned is an information session 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 day, including an ice cream social Thursday night; movie night Friday; water games, dodgeball, basketball and sand volleyball Saturday; line dancing Sunday, and an all-campus lunch with music by the Banana Oil Pan Band Tuesday.


Women’s sorority recruitment begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues Saturday and Sunday. A “Men’s Night Out” for all men will be held Thursday, with men’s fraternity recruitment beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and continuing Saturday and Sunday. Bids will be delivered to women at 8 a.m. Monday and to men at 9 a.m.


Orientation concludes Tuesday night and fall semester classes at William Woods begin Wednesday, Aug. 24.