Orientation activities help students make friends, feel at home

There were lots of smiles on August 16 as 234 upperclassmen and 160 professors, administrators, and staff members greeted freshmen and their families for Move-in Day. The volunteers helped students move their possessions into their dorm rooms and answered parents’ questions as they kicked off Welcome Week 2017, a time for freshmen to acclimate and learn about all things CRU before beginning classes with the rest of the student body the following week.
This year’s freshmen had a full schedule of activities planned for them, from making new friends in their Welcome Week groups to learning the Spirit Dance and other campus traditions. On Friday evening, the newbies divided into “color groups” for the annual Color Games, where they competed against each other in a variety of events such as dodge ball and tug of war.
Saturday morning was devoted to community service activities at local nonprofit agencies and churches, and on Sunday the groups attended church together before having lunch in the homes of professors. Welcome Week activities came to a close Sunday evening with the annual Dubbing Ceremony, where President O’Rear and the university vice presidents dubbed the students and proclaimed each one a “Crusader forever.”
For the ninth year in a row, UMHB’s fall enrollment has broken all previous records, both for the freshman class and for the student body as a whole. This year’s freshman class numbers 754 students, including 179 students who represent the first generation in their families to attend college.
The total headcount for fall 2017 is 3,914 students, with more than 1,900 of this year’s students living on campus. This year’s students came to UMHB from 31 U.S. states and 31 foreign countries and territories.
“We reach out to as many potential students as we can throughout the year, but we never know for certain how many of them are definitely coming to school here until they arrive on campus,” said Dr. Gary Lamm, vice president for enrollment management. “It’s exciting and gratifying when so many of them decide that UMHB is where they want to pursue their education.”
The students were not the only ones coming to campus in record numbers. This fall the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will be employing 504 full-time faculty and staff members, 45 of whom have joined the university during the last year.