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Northwest first-year and transfer students pass under the Memorial Bell Tower during the annual March to the Tower to conclude convocation and Advantage activities Tuesday. More than 1,300 freshman arrived on campus Saturday to begin their college careers at Northwest. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest first-year and transfer students pass under the Memorial Bell Tower during the annual March to the Tower to conclude convocation and Advantage activities Tuesday. More than 1,300 freshman arrived on campus Saturday to begin their college careers at Northwest. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Aug. 21, 2019

Advantage welcomes new students, sets expectations


Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski addressed new students during Tuesday's convocation in Bearcat Arena.

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski addressed new students during Tuesday's convocation in Bearcat Arena.

Students played games Sunday on the lawn of the Memorial Bell Tower.

Students played games Sunday on the lawn of the Memorial Bell Tower.

More than 1,300 new Northwest Missouri State University students capped their first days on the campus and launched their legacies as Bearcats Wednesday afternoon during the annual new student convocation in Bearcat Arena.

University leaders encouraged students to engage and be involved in the Northwest community during the welcome event. They outlined the expectations for being a Bearcat – to learn, connect, care, practice civility and show pride – and provided advice to the new students. They implored students to take responsibility for their academic and personal success during their years at Northwest and beyond and encouraged students to ask for help when things aren’t going so great.

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski welcomed the new students on behalf of Northwest’s faculty and staff, the city of Maryville, and the University’s 70,000-plus alumni throughout the world. Noting that Northwest’s commencement ceremonies also take place in Bearcat Arena, Jasinski called Wednesday the start of the freshman class’ journey to that point.

“Make no mistake, it’s not supposed to be an easy transition,” Jasinski told the students. “We will challenge you, but we know you’re ready. Our role is to be here for you, to challenge you, support you and to help you grow.

In her welcome remarks to the students, Student Senate President Asma Hassan, a senior human services and psychology major from Liberty, Missouri, related the enjoyment she finds in running campus trails to the pursuit of a degree at Northwest.

“Running can be hard sometimes, but you see, the beauty of running is not the time or the duration of the run,” she said. “The beauty lies with where you’re running, surrounded by nature and the sounds of birds singing. You feel the sense of home and that’s exactly what Northwest is.”

Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman, the University’s chief academic officer, challenged students to be brave, make good decisions, get involved and commit to daily random acts of kindness.

Sunday’s convocation and the traditional March to the Tower – during which new students parade under the Memorial Bell Tower at the center of campus as a symbolic beginning of their time at Northwest – was the culmination of Northwest’s annual Advantage week, which is a continuation of the University’s summer orientation programming. The four-day program, which started Saturday with the new students’ moving to campus residence halls, provides freshmen and transfer students with opportunities to meet people, learn more about the campus and its traditions, and adjust to their new environment before fall classes begin.

Advantage includes educational activities mixed with cultural presentations and fun entertainment for students. This year, students enjoyed movie nights, ice cream socials and motivational speakers. Northwest capped the weekend with its annual back-to-school fireworks show Tuesday night

As they enjoyed ice cream and socialized on the campus lawn after passing through the Bell Tower, the new students reflected on the weekend, the formation of friendships and their exploration of the campus.

“The whole campus is just gorgeous and my whole family, on my dad’s side, came to school here, and this feels like a second home. Everybody loves the Bearcats,” Macy McFee, a freshman elementary education major from Creston, Iowa, said.

Haden Humphreys, a freshman math education major from Blue Springs, added, “It was overwhelming at first in a new environment, but it was very welcoming and I was very appreciative of that.

Additionally, Northwest planted a tree in honor of the freshman class, continuing a University tradition that is now in its 11th year and aligns with the campus’ legacy as the Missouri Arboretum. The dawn redwood tree is planted west of Colden Pond.

“Trees are resilient,” Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker told the students. ”They are strong. They bend but they don’t break. They stand firm in adversity, and they thrive in all kinds of conditions. Trees require nurturing and support. Sometimes they need pruning. But they are responsible for growing themselves and taking on the world they know. This is similar to you starting your career at Northwest.”  


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468