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Country roads take students home to WVU Welcome Week

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Students of all ages help during Honors College move-in day for the start of the 2016-17 school year.
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As country roads lead some 5,200 first-year students to Morgantown this week, they will be met with a week of activities centered around student life and culture at West Virginia University. 

"I do not have a favorite time of year. But if I had to choose one, the return of so many students to campus would be a top contender," said President Gordon Gee. "I love to see the wide-eyed faces of our new students and the joy of friends seeing each other again after months apart. 

"But most of all," he said, “here is the sense of new adventures beginning, new things to learn, new experiences to have. Optimism is rampant and it renews my energy." 

Welcome Week will begin on Thursday, Aug. 10 and extend through Tuesday, Aug. 15. Classes for first-year and returning students begin on Wednesday, Aug. 16. 

Move-in starts with the largest Honors College class yet — approximately 925 students who will arrive on campus Friday, Aug. 11. 

“We raised our admission requirements for the Honors College this fall and were still able to recruit a record class of young scholars,” said Kenneth Blemings, dean of the Honors College. “These are some of the best and the brightest students in the country who chose WVU because of our quality academic programs and the enriching living and learning community.” 

The majority of first-year students will move into residence halls Saturday, Aug. 12. WVU, in coordination with the City of Morgantown, will have additional Police and Housing/Residence Life staff available to help keep the flow of traffic moving. 

“We ask that everyone be patient, alert and understanding during move-in this weekend,” said Bob Roberts, chief of WVU Police and Office of Emergency Management. “Safety and consideration for others will help us make it a safe event for all.” 

During Welcome Week, students can explore all of the wild and wonderful opportunities that the University and West Virginia have to offer or engage in a community service project. On either Sunday, Aug. 13 or Tuesday, Aug. 15, first-year students will participate in a Community Service, Adventure WV or Career Discovery experience. 

“Welcome Week is an opportunity to celebrate and preview the amazing opportunities that will be available to students here in their new community,” said Kristi Turner, director of the Center for Service and Learning. “It gives us a chance to make sure they know we are here to provide them the best experiences that lead to the greatest outcomes.” 

Academic sessions will be held on Monday, Aug. 14. First-year students will meet with faculty and administrators from their academic unit. 

“Each year, our newest students amaze me with their intellectual curiosity and their commitment to making our world a better place,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “I see these qualities once again in the members of the WVU Class of 2021. We are so proud to welcome them and excited to watch them grow.” 

This class will also continue what has become a Welcome Week tradition at Milan Puskar Stadium. Monday Night Lights provides an opportunity for first-year students to learn more about what it means to be a Mountaineer. The event, Monday, Aug. 14, from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m., will feature a special performance by the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band and much more. 

The WVU Alumni Association will host Trivia Night for upperclassmen and graduate students at the Erickson Alumni Center Monday at 6 p.m. featuring pizza and an ice cream social. 

Other signature events include:

Mountaineer Midway at the Student Rec Center on Sunday, Aug. 13, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. This WVU-style carnival features a student organization fair.

FoodFest at Evansdale, Short Term Lot 4 near the Student Rec Center and Evansdale Crossing on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 4 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Students can sample a bit of the local flavor while entering for a chance to win prizes.

FallFest at the fields behind the Student Rec Center will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. WVU Arts and Entertainment will announce the lineup and additional details days prior to the event. 

"Welcome Week is always one of my most favorite times of the year,” said Dean of Students Corey Farris. “It is a chance for us to welcome our new and returning students to their home away from home during their time at WVU, including student-organized events like the Welcome Week Carnival and Picnic.” 

The Personal Rapid Transit will resume operation Thursday, Aug. 10., operating from 6:30 a.m. until 10:15 p.m., including Saturday and Sunday. Students will also have access to buses before and after FallFest to help alleviate additional traffic. Additional information about transportation and the PRT are available at transportation.wvu.edu. 

For more information about Welcome Week and to view a full schedule of events, visit welcomeweek.wvu.edu. 

-WVU- 

mh/08/07/17 

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