West Virginia State University (WVSU) rolled out the red carpet as students returned to its Institute, W.Va., campus for the fall 2015 semester with an eight-day series of Welcome Days events Aug. 14-22.
“One of the major reasons I chose to come to State is the staff and campus. Everyone is very personable. It is like a gigantic family,” said freshman Markeem Morris. “You just get to meet so many different people and everyone is so nice. It is a great atmosphere.”
New students began moving into their residence halls on campus, Friday, Aug. 14, with returning student move-in the next day. Prior to the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 17, all students were invited to learn more about establishing habits for student success through a variety of money matters and study workshops.
On Sunday, Aug. 16, students like Keyshawna Seawritght also learned about one another through Playfair, an afternoon of fun and games designed to build camaraderie and comfort.
“The environment is what surprised me the most. It’s different from where I am from. It’s new scenery,” said Seawright, a freshman. “I was scared coming here, but everyone is real nice and makes you feel welcome.”
A hallmark of Welcome Days at State includes the annual State Stride held on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Following a brief welcome by WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill, new and transfer students experienced what it truly means to be a member of the State family as the President, student leaders and the Yellow Jacket Band led the newest Yellow Jackets to the Student Plaza. Along the route, upperclassmen, faculty, staff and alumni lined Campus Walk wearing black and gold, to cheer and provide a hearty West Virginia State welcome to crowd.
“State Stride sets the stage for the academic success of these new students at West Virginia State University,” Hemphill said. “From the time of their arrival on our campus, they are welcomed into a supporting environment, surrounded by dedicated faculty and staff who truly care about their academic pursuits and are here to help them find their passion and achieve their goals.”
At the Student plaza, all students, faculty and staff were treated to a campus barbecue with free food, music and prize drawings. There, through a showcase of the more than 60 different student organizations on campus, Yellow Jackets learned about the different activities each student can be engaged with during their college careers.
Future Welcome Days activities include a barbecue at President Hemphill’s house, family game night, a block party and a meet the athletes event where students mix and mingle with Yellow Jacket student-athletes.
About West Virginia State University
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.