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Aug. 24, 2014
More than 1,300 new Northwest Missouri State University students capped their first weekend on the campus and launched their legacies as Bearcats Sunday afternoon with the annual new student convocation, followed by their March to the Tower and a ceremonial tree-planting.
During the March to the Tower, the new students paraded from Bearcat Arena and walked under the columns of the Memorial Bell Tower, where Northwest faculty, staff and community members waited to greet them on the other side.
As the students mingled and enjoyed ice cream on the Bell Tower lawn, Bearcat chants echoed over pop music and some took advantage of a chance to ring the Bell of ’48. During the freshman tree-planting ceremony, now in its sixth year, students helped plant a Red Maple tree southwest of the Administration Building.
Prior to the tree-planting, Maryville Mayor Renee Riedel encouraged the new students to venture off campus and familiarize themselves with the community. She invited them to shop businesses, explore Mozingo Lake Recreation Area or cheer on the Maryville Spoofhounds.
“The partnership between Northwest Missouri State University and the city or Maryville is one of the best,” Riedel said. “You will see quickly that Bearcat green and white pride runs deep throughout the entire city. … You have an amazing team of professors and staff surrounding you. Absorb the knowledge and the love.”
Drawing support from the Northwest community also was among the key themes of the convocation. There, Northwest’s academic leaders addressed the new class, outlining expectations and providing advice meant to help the students be successful during their years at Northwest and beyond.
“When you decided to attend Northwest, we made a commitment to you: That we – faculty, staff and administrators like me – would do everything we could reasonably do to help you achieve your goals,” Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet told the students. “Everyone here takes their role seriously. We want you to succeed and we will work hard to help you.”
Sunday’s events were the culmination of Northwest’s annual Advantage weekend, which is a continuation of the University’s summer orientation programming. The weekend, which started Thursday with their move to campus residence halls, provides freshman and transfer students with opportunities to meet people, learn more about the campus and adjust to their new environment.
“It was nice to get to know the campus before classes start and find where everything is,” said Madison Muir, who hails from Omaha, Neb., and will study elementary education. “Everyone seems super-friendly. When you’re walking, someone will say hi.”
Seth Shurvington, a physical education major from Bevier, Mo., said the campus' friendly atmosphere is one of the reasons he chose to attend Northwest.
“I feel like everyone is pretty close and it’s like a family,” he said. “It’s not like you’re too far away from home.”
The Advantage weekend also includes a full pallet of educational, cultural and fun entertainment for students. This year, the newest students enjoyed movie nights at College Park and the Hangar, ice cream socials, motivational speakers, comedians and a casino night.
Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university offering a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs. Founded in 1905, the University has evolved into a vibrant and diverse learning community with an enrollment of more than 6,500 students hailing from throughout the United States and more than 30 countries. The university offers more than 150 student organizations, and textbooks and a laptop are included in tuition, which is among the lowest in the state. Northwest also boasts a 59.2 percent graduation rate, which is significantly higher than the national average. In addition, 97.5 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468