The annual population explosion is about to happen on college campuses nationwide as students return in droves. Suitcases will be unloaded. Posters affixed to walls. Pencils sharpened, cell phones tested, and laptops booted. Minds opened. At Mary Baldwin University that means a rolling schedule of move-in dates and start-of-the-year events. Here’s your guide to the first few weeks of the 2008–09 academic year:
August 13-17:ACCs, RAs, OLs, SGA EC — selected student leaders whose titles make fun acronyms (Assistant Community Coordinators, Resident Assistants, and Orientation Leaders, Student Government Association Executive Committee) start preparing for the year by moving in extra early.
August 17:Is that the echo of a long pass on the soccer field or the smack of a ball hitting a forearm in the PAC gym you hear? It might be — volleyball and soccer student-athletes start moving in and begin practice. Cross country runners move in August 24 and begin practice that week.
August 19:Watch for green-clad students in uniform marching on campus: “leeft, leeft, left-right-left” when new students (nULLs) in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL) move in.
August 19:Teachers teach teachers as new graduate students attend Orientation for the Master of Arts in Teaching program.
August 25:New students in the college’s unique graduate program in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance (MLitt/MFA) attend Orientation, asking, methinks: “Wherefore art thou a student of the Bard?”
August 26:African-American freshmen in the Ida B. Wells living-learning community move in and receive an introduction to Orientation that includes learning about the civil rights and women’s rights figure for whom their group is named.
August 26:Representing Japan, Ireland, and India, international students begin the tailored Orientation that will help Mary Baldwin feel more like home.
August 27:New students who are members of American ethnic minorities (which represent more than 35% of the student population) will begin learning to spread their wings and fly through Orientation in SOAR (Survival Opportunities and Resources). They will discover quickly that they have become part of an inclusive community.
August 27:New students in the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) move in to their state-of-the-art center and discover how Mary Baldwin is different from their middle or high schools, but still a little like home in all the right ways.
August 27:Faculty and staff powwow at the annual opening meeting for the President’s state-of-the-college address, and later gather to dish on the lawn at the President’s House at the friends and family picnic.
August 28:Keep your eyes open for excited students and scattered luggage, boxes, and items destined to be room décor, when the newest members of the Residential College for Women (RCW), the Class of 2012, move in. Their comprehensive four-day Orientation, with its theme, Map It Out, nods to the college’s cross-curricular theme Maps and includes an introduction to the Mary Baldwin University Advantage.
August 31:All the marching practice is tested for the first time in public at the VWIL nULL Induction Parade, the first parade of the academic year.
August 31:New students are officially welcomed to the new year by President Fox and student leaders at Opening Convocation. The event, 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, will be followed by a candlelight ceremony and singing of Mary Baldwin’s hymn.
September 1:And so begins the 2008-09 academic year as first classes are called to order. Returning students to the Residential College for Women will have been streaming into residence halls and houses in the day or two preceding the start of classes.
September 1:Hunt Dining Hall has been open for limited hours for the past few weeks, but a joyful noise spreads across campus as the Dining Hall opens for full service once again with its tasty meals morning, noon, and night.
September 2:Show your Fighting Squirrels spirit: The first sporting competition on home soil this fall is a soccer game versus Emory and Henry at 4 p.m.
September 3:“Believing in the principles of student government, I pledge myself