U of M ready to welcome the Class of 2019 to campus

Media note: To access any events during move-in or Welcome Week, media should contact Emmalynn Bauer—University News Service, ebauer@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720—in advance to facilitate logistics. Media guidelines can be found here.

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (8/25/2015) — The University of Minnesota–Twin Cities will welcome the Class of 2019 to campus next week. At more than 5,700 students, it is one of the U of M's largest freshman classes on record. Following two days of residence hall move-in on August 31 and September 1, the U will kick off its Welcome Week activities.

“We have found that students who experience Welcome Week are confident, prepared, and better equipped to succeed in and out of the classroom in the years to come,” said Beth Lingren Clark, assistant dean and director of the U of M's Orientation & First-Year Programs. “Our goal is to help new students transition successfully establishing a sense of belonging in their new community. By connecting students with upperclassmen leaders, we communicate expectations and pathways. We want students to be prepared to solve problems, think critically and communicate effectively so they thrive at the U and beyond.”

Now in its eighth year, Welcome Week enhances students’ sense of belonging and contributes to first-year retention rates by equipping students with the knowledge and resources to make a successful transition from high school to collegiate life. Welcome Week serves as a model that is increasingly emulated by colleges and universities around the country.

Led by more than 470 upper-classmen Welcome Week volunteer leaders, first-year students experience Welcome Week activities in small groups. Each of Welcome Week's six days — from Wednesday, September 2 to Monday, September 7 — features a different focus including instilling collegiate pride and excitement, navigating the campus and its many resources and understanding what it means to be at an urban institution within the Twin Cities community. More information and a complete schedule of Welcome Week activities can be found here.

Welcome Week is intended for the freshman Class of 2019. Transfer students are invited to attend Transfer Welcome Days, September 3–6, a program that has evolved in recent years based on student feedback.

“Transfer Welcome Days is designed to support transition and enhance students’ connection to the U of M community,” said Chelsea Garcia, Assistant Director for Transfer Orientation & Welcome Programs. “We continue to receive student feedback to enhance the programming to meet transfer student needs.” The schedule includes The Insiders Guide to the U of M, the Transfer Welcome Days Hangout, Smooth(ie) Transitions, along with several of the Welcome Week events. More information about the schedule for Transfer Welcome Days can be found here.

The Council of Graduate Students (COGS) is also planning activities throughout the week to welcome new graduate and professional students to campus. A complete schedule of events is available here.

Media opportunities include:

Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1 Move-In Days

Move-in days for freshman students to residence halls. President Eric Kaler and Mrs. Karen Kaler will be on hand to greet students Monday, August 31, from 2–3 p.m., at the Superblock halls, 701 Fulton St. S.E., Minneapolis

Wednesday, September 2 - Welcome Week Kick Off Day
Pride and Spirit night, 7:45 - 9:15 p.m., at TCF Bank Stadium, 2009 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis

  • New students will form giant block ‘M’ on the field at TCF Bank Stadium, which will be used as the Class of 2019 picture. A pep rally, featuring Gophers football coach Jerry Kill, the marching band and others, will take place before the picture.
  • Students start to form block ‘M’ at 8:40 p.m., picture to be taken around 9 p.m.
  • Media must RSVP and enter using the Jackson County gate. The normal media entrance at Dodge County will not be open.

Thursday, September 3 - College Day
Convocation, 9:45 - 11 a.m., Mariucci Arena, 1901 Fourth St. S.E., Minneapolis

  • This is the official welcome ceremony for new students. Faculty members in full regalia will be present and President Kaler and Provost Hanson will deliver remarks to the Class of 2019 at this high-energy event.
  • Media must RSVP and use the Fourth St. entrance for this event to be issued a credential.

Football game vs. Texas Christian University (8 p.m. kickoff, TCF Bank Stadium)

  • All first-year students – both freshman and transfer students - will receive a free ticket to the season opening game.
  • Transfer student tailgate (6–8 p.m., back lawn, Coffman Memorial Union)
  • All new students will enter through gate C, which opens at 6:30 p.m. Media can film and interview students as they attend their first Gopher football game. Media parking is available in the University Ave. ramp.

Friday, September 4- U of M Day
From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., students will attend a wide variety of workshops at various locations, including:

  • Live Like a Student: Learn how to live within your budget, how to stay out of debt, where to find discounts on campus and other tips for financial success during your college career.
  • Respect U: See what it takes to Respect U and your University. This presentation will expose students to critical issues that are important to the student community by highlighting the importance of creating a caring and inclusive campus environment.
  • Sustainability Action!: Gather for dynamic displays and activities to see how your actions add up to a sustainable campus.
  • Academic Survival in Action!: Scope out academic resources available to you and possible study spaces as you explore what University Libraries have to offer.

Transfer Welcome Days

  • 4:30 – 5 p.m., Auditorium, first floor, Northrop: TWD kickoff celebration
  • 6:15 – 8 p.m., on campus: The Insider’s Guide to the U of M: transfer student campus tours

Keynote Address for Class of 2019

  • 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Mariucci Arena: Motivational speaker Jermaine Davis talks with students about how to create an intention-filled first year of college and how to make the experience their own.

Saturday, September 5 - Community Engagement Day

  • Explore-U (1:30 – 4:30 p.m., Mariucci Arena) – student organizations and local vendor showcase

Classes begin Tuesday, September 8.

Media Contacts

After hours line
University Public Relations
(612) 293-0831
Public Relations
University Public Relations main line
University Public Relations
(612) 624-5551
Public Relations
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities