Welcome, Profs! Programs, initiatives focus on campus engagement from the start

Welcome, Profs! Programs, initiatives focus on campus engagement from the start


From the moment they walk onto campus, the more than 2,400 members of the largest freshman class in Rowan University history will hit the ground running. That’s by design, says Richard Jones, vice president for student life/dean of students.

“The first three weeks absolutely are critical for students to become connected to the University,” says Jones. “We are teaching our first-year students our University’s core values--and that begins on day one of their Rowan experience.”

While first-year students received a spirited introduction to Rowan during eight Orientation sessions in June and July, Fall Welcome Weekend/Start Up Smart is a continuation of that, offering initiatives and programs specifically designed to help freshmen settle into campus and make a strong transition—and positive beginning—to their collegiate careers.

“Orientation and Welcome Weekend/Start Up Smart events give our students the tremendous opportunity to meet others, become familiar with their Rowan surroundings and to learn about the culture of the University before classes start,” says Jones, noting that the programming is presented by the Division of Student Life.

“The programs are designed to complement each other with the ultimate goal of contributing to student success--academically, personally and socially—and student engagement.”

Move-In Day

Fall Welcome Weekend kicks off in grand style with Freshman Move-In Day on Saturday, August 30, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Altogether, more than 1,900 freshmen will settle into their residence halls, bid adieu to their families and begin the process of establishing relationships with their Rowan University family.

Move-In Day is propelled by a virtual army of steady-handed, enthusiastic Profs—approximately 575 students, administrators, and University staff members--who volunteer annually to make the physical process of moving in seamless and fun.

As students set up their rooms, they’ll also attend floor meetings with their resident assistants. Meetings are designed as a way for new students to get to know each other and to develop a sense of community and spirit in their residence hall.

Showcasing Prof pride

Fall Welcome Weekend/Start Up Smart continues on Sunday, August 31, with a day of celebration beginning with, among other events, a Prof Pride Rally (12:30-1:30 p.m., Richard Wackar Stadium) and the annual President’s Welcome and Picnic (5-6:30 p.m., University Green).

During the President’s Welcome and Picnic, the Aqua String Band, a merry band of Mummers, will parade through campus, picking up residential and commuter students through campus and leading them to the Green, where they will be welcomed by Rowan President Ali Houshmand. During the ceremony, two-time College of Engineering graduate Walt Walker (BS’05, M’06) will receive the University’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

Additionally, the University’s Torch of Knowledge will be passed from the senior class to the freshman class. Kaila Beckam, a psychology major from Blackwood, will accept the torch on behalf of the Class of 2018. The picnic ends with a barbecue near the University Green for all students.

Monday, Sept. 1, brings an afternoon Labor Day Beach Bash and movie night (intramural field).

A September to remember

The fall semester begins on Tuesday, Sept. 2, for all students. Student activities also heat up during the month and will be highlighted by the South Jersey Vendor Showcase and Friday Night Lights, both on Friday, Sept. 5.

The vendor showcase will include more than 60 South Jersey-area business owners, who will introduce their goods and services to the student body. During Friday Night Lights (6 p.m., Richard Wackar Stadium), the Profs football team will kick off its season against Widener University. The event will feature football, food and fireworks. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

September includes a host of sessions focused on everything from developing reading and study strategies to time management and setting and achieving academic goals to making healthy choices to staying fit.

In addition to off-campus trips that offer opportunities to go zip lining or attend the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair, September also provides students the second annual Night Bright Color Run, a colorful way to raise funds for Back on My Feet of Philadelphia, a national organization that uses running to help the homeless discover ways to improve their situations.

For a full schedule of Fall Welcome Weekend/Start Up Smart programming, visit http://www.rowan.edu/studentlife/main_office/welcome/