U of M ready to welcome the Class of 2020 to campus

Students taking a selfie

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities will welcome the Class of 2020 to campus next week. At more than 5,800 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 29 and 30, the U will kick off its Welcome Week activities.

“Incoming students who experience U of M Welcome Week are better equipped to succeed in and out of the classroom. The program is integral to students’ transition to the University,” 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 establish a sense of belonging in the University community. We want students to be confident and prepared to solve problems, think critically and communicate effectively so they thrive at the U and beyond.”

Now in its ninth 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.

Led by approximately 350 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, August 31 to Monday, September 5 — features a different focus including instilling collegiate pride and excitement, navigating the campus and its many resources. More information and a complete schedule of Welcome Week activities can be found here.

Welcome Week is intended for the freshman Class of 2020. Transfer students are invited to attend Transfer Welcome Days (TWD) from September 1–4. The program will cater to the specific needs of the University’s transfer students. The schedule includes the Transfer Tailgate, the TWD Hangout, Tour de TSA (Transfer Student Ambassadors), along with select 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 are welcome to attend move-in or Welcome Week events. Contact Emmalynn Bauer—University News Service, ebauer@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720—in advance to facilitate logistics. Back-to-school media opportunities include:

Monday, August 29 and Tuesday, August 30 – 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 on Monday, August 29, from 2:30–3:30 p.m. at the Superblock halls, 701 Fulton St. S.E., Minneapolis

As part of Global Gopher Events, international students have a variety of workshops and events to attend, including:

How to Prepare for Winter, 1–2 p.m. on Monday, August 29 and 11 a.m.–12 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30.

  • International students prepare for Minnesota weather with an engaging workshop and fashion show of winter weather gear.
  • This program is part of Global Gopher Events, a series of activities designed to help international students connect with campus resources and learn how to succeed academically and personally. The full schedule of Global Gopher Events events can be found here.

Wednesday, August 31 - 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 2020 picture. A pep rally, featuring Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys, 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 9:15 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 1 - 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 2020 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. Oregon State 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 (5:30–7 p.m., back lawn, Coffman Memorial Union)
  • All new students will enter through Lincoln County entrance, which opens at 6:30 p.m. Media can film and interview students as they attend their first Gopher football game.

Friday, September 2 - 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.

Earth, U & Barbecue, 11:45 a.m.–2 p.m., Coffman Union Great Hall and St. Paul Student Center Northstar Ballroom

  • Students enjoy a zero-waste barbecue lunch and learn about the University’s commitment to sustainability.

Get Gritty with Jermaine Davis – a keynote address for Class of 2020, 8:30–9:30 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 3 - Community Engagement Day

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

Classes begin Tuesday, September 6.

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