The UM-Flint campus will soon burst to life with the start of the new fall semester. Dozens of events are scheduled through the end of September that are aimed to entertain and educate both new and returning students.
A number of events are for new students to help them learn about the UM-Flint campus, the services that are available to them, and the organizations they might be interested in joining.
The activities begin on August 26 with the first of two days of orientation for new international students. Other activities for the week will introduce students to the area surrounding campus, including the Farmers Market and downtown Flint.
New faculty orientation is on August 26, with Faculty Convocation scheduled for August 28.
Students will begin to move into the First Street residence Hall starting at 8 a.m. 0n September 1.
The official welcome for new students is September 3, with New Student Welcome Day and Student Convocation. Welcome Day includes workshops, a street fair, and a class picture: 2-5:30 p.m. in the Harding Mott University Center. The Student Convocation program begins at 5:30 pm in the Recreation Center. The Convocation marks the official beginning of a student's college experience. Chancellor Ruth J. Person, student leaders, executive officers, and members of the faculty will all participate in this traditional ceremony at which each student will be presented with a memorable gift.
One of fall's most anticipated events is the annual Welcome Back Picnic (WBP). This year's will be held on Thursday, September 12 starting at noon. The WBP continues to grow in size, taking over Kearsley Street from Mill to Wallenberg Streets. The carnival atmosphere is enhanced this year with the addition of new rides (including the stomach turning Freakout) and the return of old favorites like the Ferris Wheel. The student event will have plenty of food, ice cream, and music from local bands and DJs. "New to the Welcome Back Picnic this year is an invitation to UM-Flint alumni to join the fun," said Pam Zemore, member of the planning committee. "We have extended the invitation to alumni to join in between 5:30 and 8 p.m."
Another traditional event that attracts not only students, but faculty and staff as well, is the annual Cake Walk (and/or run). It is held in the morning before the Welcome Back Picnic. Participants can chose to walk the mile long course once, or twice if you run. In past years, nearly a hundred cakes have been donated each year by campus members for the event. The first walker or runner to cross the finish line gets the first choice of a cake to take home. The walk steps off at 11 a.m. from in front of the UM-Flint Theatre Lobby. The Cake Walk has been part of UM-Flint fall welcome events since 1985 (28 years).