Welcome Week prepares and energizes students for the new academic year
Sep 1, 2022
by Anna Boone
Last week, campus came to life again as we greeted three classes of returning students and 906 new faces to Flagler.
At the start of each academic year, Flagler College hosts Welcome Week- seven days of programming geared toward getting new students acclimated to campus and reenergizing returning students for the year to come. Starting with move-in and finishing with the traditional first-year Disney trip, Welcome Week is packed with tools to get students prepped for success and a line-up of activities to help them let loose with friends.
MOVE-IN BEGINS | AUG. 19
A father and son duo lugging surfboards up the breezeway steps, student athletes carrying boxes from the trunks of minivans into Cedar Hall and dorm rooms crowded with an assortment of family members were some of the scenes from Friday morning.
For many families, move-in marked the last leg of a long trip from home. This year, our freshmen class calls 35 states and 14 countries home.
One mom, Linda Lee, was taking advantage of the student center’s lounge while she waited for her son to finish setting up a few things in his new dorm room.
She said at the start of his senior year of high school, her son- freshman Matt Vnuk- was “adamant” he would live at home in Connecticut and attend the community college.
“And the next thing we knew, 1,200 miles away,” Lee said.
It was a bittersweet moment.
“I’m happy for him, because he’s excited to be here, but we’ll miss him,” she said.
CACE DROP-IN ADVISING | AUG. 20
RESIDENT HALL PARTIES
WELCOME RALLY | AUG. 21
An afternoon thunderstorm didn’t stop more than 180 students from coming out to Sunday’s Welcome Rally. Students enjoyed a hamburger cookout-style buffet, vouchers for an on-site ice cream truck, face painting, giant inflatable waterslides and a “Lewis Lion” stuffed animal station.
Kaelyn Thomas, coordinator of student engagement, said planning was in the works for months ahead of the rally.
“…we wanted it to be a really big, fun social event where students could come and meet new people and then come with their friends that they've already made to kind of just celebrate being a Flagler student during Welcome Week,” Thomas said.
FIRST-YEAR & TRANSFER ADVISING
SOPHOMORE S’MORE SOCIAL
-Freshmen advice from: an orientation leader
“…don't be afraid of the unknown. Embrace it because you never know what you're going to be walking into and it could be one of the greatest experiences of your life. If we live our lives in fear of what's to come, we'll never truly appreciate what is. So, I think that's the best advice I can give to any person, especially to incoming freshmen.”
– Ryan Dubas, sophomore OL
TROLLY RIDES AROUND ST. AUGUSTINE | AUG. 22
INTERNATIONAL CENTER WELCOME PARTY
CONVOCATION | AUG. 23
On the eve of their first college classes… ever, freshmen packed into Lewis Auditorium to ceremoniously mark the beginning of their time at Flagler College.
Keynote speaker Doug Keaton, assistant professor of humanities and the director of the New Core Curriculum program, comforted students with the tale of Saint Augustine’s freshmen year of college.
“He came to college and he wanted a passion, but he didn’t have one,” Keaton said. “And he blamed himself for not having one, for being aimless, for being lost. For not having someone to kiss, but more importantly for not having a major.”
Keaton encouraged the students to seek life, newness and passion with the same urgency as Saint Augustine.
“Sure yes, sooner or later you have to start being responsible,” he said. “And sure yes, sooner or later you have to start being good. But please not before you start to live.”
CANDID CAREER CHATS
MEET THE GREEKS
MOVIE ON THE LAWN
FIRST DAY OF CLASSES | AUG. 24
SALAD BOWL MIXER
Eight student organizations like The Black Female Development Circle, Deaf Awareness Club, Pagan and Proud and Pride Alliance set up tables in the Virginia Room Wednesday to showcase their club’s programming and purposes.
Hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the “Salad Bowl Mixer” hoped to connect students with affinity groups which can support their identities. Mary Rose Pedron, assistant director of diversity, equity and inclusion, said students should be celebrated.
“…we are always emphasizing that we want to celebrate you who you are now and who you will be when you leave this college,” Pedron said. “So, if you are very proud of an identity that you have, whether it's cultural, religious, or you're exploring identities, we have a plethora of affinity groups on campus.”
MEET THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE | Aug. 25
-Freshmen advice from: a cheerleader
“Reach out to people around campus. Try to get involved, whether it’s just one club or activity, if not multiple. I think meeting people and just seeing what Flagler has to offer is really great,”
– Victoria Bannon, Flagler Cheerleading flyer
BEACH CLEAN-UP/ HIKE | Aug. 26
CAB WELCOME BACK POOL PARTY
-Freshmen advice from: a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team member
“Just be kind to yourself. I think it's a really intimidating place. Just trying to not only transition from high school to college, but this is a significant chapter of your life. So be kind to yourself. It's okay to mess up. It's okay to trip sometimes, but at the end of day, you are part of the Flagler family and we're here to support you.”
– Mary Rose Pedron
DISNEY TRIP TO MAGIC KINGDOM | Aug. 27