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Week of Welcome kicks off the start of fall semester

At the beginning of every fall semester, thousands of FGCU students take part in the annual Week of Welcome celebrations. This seven day series of events serves as a way to introduce new students to the culture and spirit of FGCU and to reignite the excitement of current students about the start of the semester.

The wide range of student interests and the energy of the student body will be captured through academic, athletic, and social events designed to appeal to all types of students.

This year, Week of Welcome has a ‘90s theme. Events such as RHA’s Full House Casino Night, Splash Back to the ‘90s Pool Party, and #ThrowbackThursday: Headphone Disco will be taking place throughout the week for students to enjoy.

“The week is filled with various events and programs aimed at helping students meet new people, become involved with student organizations and departments, and learn about important resources throughout the campus,” the FGCU Week of Welcome website says.

Beginning on Thursday, Aug. 17, and ending on Saturday, Aug. 26, Week of Welcome promises twenty-four unique events students can look forward to as the year begins.

For those new students adjusting to their dorms, the New Eagles on the Block event, taking place on Thursday, Aug. 17, will help students get oriented in South Village and assist students in connecting with people living in their dorm and beyond.

The Majorsmania event on Friday, Aug. 18, features all of the majors offered at FGCU and allows students to network with department heads and familiarize themselves with all their potential study options.

Splash Back to the ‘90’s Pool Party is a chance for students to interact with Student Government in a casual setting, while United Campus Ministries Tailgate gives students the opportunity to connect with on-campus ministries.

One of the most popular events of Week of Welcome, Eagle Revolution, is the kickoff for university athletics. Coaches, athletes, and students can gather in Alico Arena to take part (some for the first time and others for the second or third times) in the high spirits of FGCU’s sports teams.

For students looking to familiarize themselves with on-campus resources, the Center for Academic Achievement and the Writing Center will have stands on the FGCU Library Lawn and will be making presentations at the Academic Success Fair on Aug. 24 to acquaint students early on with the resources they might need to succeed in their classes later.

The WOW Carnival, taking place on Wednesday, Aug. 23, is what some consider to be the peak of the Week of Welcome festivities. Students can expect a variety of free food, giveaways, and games interspersed with information about campus life and clubs.

This year, the FGCU at 20 committee will also be hosting a festival as the culmination of the FGCU at 20 celebrations that have been taking place throughout the year.

“August 25th, 2017, marks FGCU’s 20th anniversary of the first day of classes,” the FGCU at 20 website says.

In a phone interview, Deborah Wiltrout, co-chair of the FGCU at 20 project, said “We want as many people as possible to engage in the games, activities, prizes, and food…to feel part of the FGCU community.”

While Week of Welcome has a ‘90s theme, the FGCU at 20 celebration is forward-looking, and will celebrate not only FGCU’s past but also its future. For the first time, President Martin will make an address before the student body.

Week of Welcome’s penultimate event on Saturday, Aug. 26 is WOW Day of Service. Volunteer opportunities at Special Equestrians, Barefoot Beach and Preserve, and Naples Humane Society allow students to bond while serving the community. In order to have the best chance at volunteering at a first-choice volunteer site, students should be sure to register early by contacting the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.

The final event that will mark the end of Week of Welcome and will set the fall semester in full swing is the Beach Blast at North Lake Village on Aug. 26. Students can enjoy water slides, music and food as they celebrate the beginning of the fall semester.

Students looking for a full listing of Week of Welcome events and times should check the FGCU Week of Welcome website.

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