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Aug. 30, 2015
Nearly 1,500 new Northwest Missouri State University students capped their first weekend on the campus and launched their legacies as Bearcats Sunday afternoon by partaking in the annual new student convocation, the March to the Tower, a ceremonial tree-planting and high-fives with University President Dr. John Jasinski.
Academic leaders encouraged students to engage and be involved in the Northwest community during the convocation at Bearcat Arena. Putting a Digital Age spin on that theme, Jasinski urged them to tag Northwest social media accounts and incorporate the University’s common hashtags to share memorable moments and milestones.
Jasinski then helped the students get some practice and created a memorable moment by jogging the aisles and bleachers of Bearcat Arena, giving high-fives to as many of them as he could.
While Northwest’s academic leaders also outlined expectations and provided advice meant to help the students be successful during their years at Northwest and beyond, Jasinski reminded students to stay focused on their ultimate goal of earning a college degree.
“It doesn’t matter where you begin, it matters where you finish. Keep the end in mind,” Jasinski told the crowd of first-year students during his brief remarks.
The students made plenty more memories after the convocation.
The March to the Tower is a ritual that takes the new students from Bearcat Arena to the Memorial Bell Tower. As they pass through the Bell Tower’s columns, the students are greeted by Northwest faculty, staff and community members, marking their entrance into Bearcat Nation.
Students mingled and enjoyed ice cream on the Bell Tower lawn while the Bearcat Marching Band provided its spirited brand of music. Students also took advantage of a chance to ring the Bell of ’48.
The freshman tree-planting ceremony, now in its seventh year, gave new students an opportunity to learn about the Missouri Arboretum, which makes its home on the Northwest campus, and contribute to its future. This year’s freshmen planted a Regal Prince Oak, a stately upright tree known for its reliability and ability to handle a range of conditions, just south of the Bell Tower.
At the tree-planting, Maryville Mayor Renee Riedel encouraged the new students to venture off campus, familiarize themselves with the community and be responsible citizens.
“You’ve seen in the last few days that you have a fabulous campus here at Northwest and you have a hard-working team of faculty and staff members that are going to take care of you for the next few years," Riedel said. "The citizens of Maryville are excited to have you in their churches, their restaurants and their local businesses.”
Sunday’s events were the culmination of Northwest’s annual Advantage week, which is a continuation of the University’s summer orientation programming. The weekend, which started Thursday with their move to campus residence halls, provides freshmen and transfer students with opportunities to meet people, learn more about the campus and adjust to their new environment. Fall classed begin Monday.
“I liked all of the events they hosted because it lets us have an opportunity to get used to campus, meet new people and explore the campus,” said Kaitlin Adams, an elementary education and special education major from Savannah, Mo.
Added Cyrus Johnson, a business technology major from Lee’s Summit, Mo., “My favorite part was meeting everybody and getting to be a Bearcat. It’s just good to be here.”
Advantage week includes educational activities mixed with cultural presentations and fun entertainment for students. This year, the newest students enjoyed movie nights, ice cream socials, motivational speakers, a comedian and a casino night.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468