At nearly 400 new students, Wittenberg’s class of 2025 arrives on campus for Welcome Week, Aug. 26-29, 2021. Academically prepared and experienced in flexible learning formats given their high school learning experiences, the University’s newest Tigers will spend the next four days acclimating to college life through a range of special programming prior to the official start of classes on Aug. 30.
“We are excited to welcome our newest students and are confident that they will find a campus community committed to their personal and professional success from the start,” said Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Casey Gill, Ph.D. “Wittenberg has always lived its motto of ‘Having light we pass it on to others,’ and we look forward to helping our new students – and all our students – seize their light.”
In addition to building a cohort of first-generation students, the incoming class is one of the most diverse with about 20 percent of the class hailing from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. More than a third also qualify for federal Pell grants, and the University is planning for an increased number of commuter students who travel to campus from within a 30-mile radius of the University. The fall semester will also see the largest number of graduate students in Wittenberg’s history intent on pursuing either an M.A. in education, an M.A. in athletic coaching or an M.S. in analytics.
New students are expected to arrive on campus mid-morning, Thursday, Aug. 26, where they will first enjoy an all-campus move-in experience between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., in which faculty and staff partner with student members of the Welcome Week Support Team (WWST) in helping new students move into their assigned residence halls. New Tigers are also assisted by current students who make up the WWST with the goal of helping them connect with one another, begin to build relationships with faculty and staff, and complete final preparations for the fall semester.
The 2021 Welcome Week program – part two in the University’s Destination Wittenberg orientation series – will include both in-person meetings and hybrid programs as the University continues to navigate through COVID-19. To support the health and safety of all, the first of two vaccination clinics will take place during Welcome Week on Aug. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room 105 of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for LifelongLearning for all students and employees who have not started the vaccination process. No pre-registration is required, and the Pfizer vaccine will be administered. The second clinic will take place on Sept. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Following the official move-in, students will attend various programs focused on belonging and engagement, and participate in several activities including:
- Meeting with First Year Seminar teams
- Meeting their resident advisors (RAs)
- Participating in residence hall community building
- Learning about the values and mission of Wittenberg
- Attending social events to connect with fellow classmates
A welcome ceremony will then take place from 4-4:45 p.m. in Commencement Hollow. The event features presentations from several campus representatives, including President Michael L. Frandsen, Ph.D., and Gill. Families are encouraged to depart from campus by 6:30 p.m. with residence hall meetings taking place from 8-9:15 p.m. Other special events on Thursday include a Traveling Tiger mix & mingle for commuter students in Geil Lounge from 8-9:15 p.m., and a special presentation by hypnotist Dr. Jim Wand at the Pam Evans Smith Arena, inside the newly renovated and expanded Health, Wellness & Athletics Complex, from 9:30-11 p.m.
On Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., students can join members of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement to participate in a service project for the Springfield community by creating a mural for the Second Harvest Food Bank – no artistic experience is necessary. The mural will be given to Second Harvest as a way to show appreciation for its partnership with Wittenberg. During this event, students can also learn about Wittenberg’s commitment to civic engagement and drop off their non-perishable food donations. Service beyond one’s self has been a core component of the Wittenberg experience since the University’s founding in 1845. The annual service event introduces new students to the possibilities and opportunities of Wittenberg’s unique community service graduation requirement, as well as to the significance of service as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education and to the work of the Hagen Center.
Other Friday events include Witt Olympics featuring cornhole, giant Jenga, Kan Jam, and more in Commencement Hollow from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a First-Year Seminar meeting from 1:30-3 p.m., academic program engagement fair from 3:15-4:30 p.m., followed by human bingo from 7-8 p.m. and Minute to Win it game night in the Center Dining Room of the Benham-Pence Student Center from 9-11 p.m.
Saturday events include building a consent culture and commitment to community from 8:30 a.m. to noon, a theatre showcase from 7-8 p.m., and a welcome back bash along Alumni Way that includes inflatable games, food, a DJ, and more beginning at 8:30 p.m.
On Sunday, students will have a chance to connect virtually with various communities on campus from 1:30-2:30 p.m., attend a workshop on conversations that matter from 3-4 p.m., followed by a cookout hosted by Concerned Black Students (CBS) at the McClain Center for Diversity from 6-8 p.m.
For additional information and the Welcome Week schedule, click here. For questions, please contact Grace Sever, director of academic services in Wittenberg’s COMPASS: Sweet Success Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.