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Promise, expectation mark new school year

Posted by Judy Riley on Monday, Aug. 11, 2008

“There's nothing like the start of the new school year, filled with promise and expectation.” With these words, University of Minnesota, Morris Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson looks forward to welcoming new and returning students, in addition to new and returning staff and faculty, as the campus begins another academic year.

First-year students will participate in an orientation program August 24-26. Classes will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

“I share with our entering students a sense of new beginnings and anticipation,” added Johnson. “This is a most exciting time in their lives and I believe that they have made an excellent educational choice. Along with other members of the Morris and UMM community, I look forward to meeting our new students and the chance to work with them over the course of the next several years.”

New Student Orientation, held annually at UMM prior to the first day of classes, incorporates three days of activity, information and fun for new students that helps them to prepare for “life at UMM.”

“New Student Orientation provides a great welcome to new students and helps them settle into their new home here at UMM,” shared Dave Swenson, director of student activities. The Office of Student Activities at UMM is a major player in coordinating the orientation process at UMM.

First-year and transfer students traditionally arrive on campus on Sunday, Aug. 24. Following their move into residence halls and check in, UMM Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Sandy Olson-Loy and the student body president will greet students and their parents during an opening convocation from 2 to 3:15 p.m. in the P.E. Center. Parents will have an opportunity to chat with Chancellor Jacquie Johnson in Humanities Fine Arts Recital Hall following the welcome.

Other events on Sunday include a meeting between new students and their Orientation Group Leader, an introduction to the Multi-Ethnic Student Program and a UMM Community Picnic, held from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. in the area of Gay Lake, behind Gay (residence) Hall. Floor activities on Sunday evening will offer students an opportunity to meet their residence hall Community Adviser and other students in their residence hall.

Orientation will continue on Monday, Aug. 25, with a breakfast, meeting with group leaders, advisers and students and a chance to explore the wide variety of academic opportunities available for students at UMM. Tours of the Rodney A. Briggs Library, Computing Services and the University’s One Stop program will be part of the day’s agenda.

The UMM Alumni Association will welcome incoming students with an Ice Cream Social at 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center Oyate Hall. At 9:30 p.m., residence hall Community Advisers and Orientation Group Leaders will present a “little bit of UMM with a comic edge” during the traditional “Extravanganza.”

Tuesday’s activities will include introduction sessions and College Challenges, which helps students toward building a safe and respectful community, as well as an opportunity for students to chat with Chancellor Jacquie Johnson. An Activities Fair from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Food Service building will showcase the many and varied student organizations at UMM. Fun carnival food will be offered.

Classes will begin on Wednesday. A Multi-Ethnic Student Program reception will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Multi-Ethnic Resource Center Lounge.

The campus will also welcome approximately 30 new staff and faculty. Those who are new will fill the positions of recently retired staff and faculty members as well as those positions that were in transition from the last academic year. An orientation session, academic division meetings and an opportunity to meet with student advisees, along with a faculty workshop, are among the many activities in which staff and faculty will participate.