MILLIGAN, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2020) – New and returning students will arrive on Milligan University’s campus this weekend, kicking off a new academic year and Milligan’s first semester as a university.
Welcome Week, Aug. 22-28, provides students with a carefully structured and supportive introduction to college. Scheduled activities throughout the week aim to help new students acclimate to campus life, in addition to welcoming returning students.
This year’s activities will primarily occur outdoors on Milligan’s campus and will adhere to the university’s mask and social distancing guidelines. While this year requires extra parameters, Jason Onks, director of campus activities, emphasized that this year’s Welcome Week will continue to uphold the same purpose as previous years – to build campus community.
Onks believes that Milligan’s emphasis on helping students form meaningful bonds with peers and faculty upon their arrival to campus helps set the university apart.
“Milligan provides a system of intentional care and support for our students; we want our students to know they are not just a number but a valued part of our community,” said Onks. “By having fun and learning about themselves and their peers, students also become more engaged in the classroom and on campus.”
Junior Mallory Fehl, from Fishers, Indiana, is excited to welcome new students to campus as a peer mentor this year. She, along with other upperclassmen students, will help faculty members facilitate activities and discussions for small groups of new students throughout the semester.
“When I arrived at Milligan for the first time, I didn’t know anyone,” said Fehl. “Milligan did a great job throughout Welcome Week of providing opportunities for me to meet everyone in my year but also provided smaller mentor groups. Mentor groups helped make me feel at home at Milligan, especially when my faculty mentor invited our group to his home for dinner.”
As an upperclassman, Fehl hopes to make this year’s class feel welcome and informed of the many ways they can get involved on campus. Fehl is a member of several student groups, including Milligan’s Ministry Leadership Program, Goah Scholars, Apostolos and Heritage. It was during Welcome Week where she was introduced to the many opportunities to get involved on campus.
“My biggest advice to incoming students is to be open to new possibilities,” said Fehl. “This is going to be a different year, but Milligan is a community that is willing to think outside the box to find ways to help students connect. Your college experience is what you make it, so say yes to opportunities.”
The first event of Welcome Week will be Milligan’s annual Matriculation ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium of Milligan’s Seeger Chapel. Each mentor group will bring their students at an assigned time to officially sign-in to the records of the university. Family and friends will not be allowed to attend but can view a livestream of the service at milligan.edu/streaming.
Classes begin on Tuesday, Aug. 25. For a complete schedule of Welcome Week 2020 activities, visit milligan.edu/sizzler.