Welcoming Baylor Freshmen with Orientation
- Incoming freshman Ramye Kirkland of Hampton, Georgia, takes part in Baylor Orientation's Media Lab recording studio during Dr Pepper Hour. (Liesje Powers/Baylor University)
- New students and parents attending Baylor Orientation had the opportunity to learn about and sign up for campus activities in the fall. (Liesje Powers/Baylor University)
- Students and faculty represented organizations from across campus at Dr Pepper Hour as part of summer Orientation. (Liesje Powers/Baylor University)
by Liesbeth Powers, student newswriter
WACO, Texas (June 8, 2018) – Students from across the country are gathering this summer in Waco, Texas for the start of their college careers at Baylor University.
Baylor Orientation – which runs throughout the month of June and is split between 10 sessions – is designed, along with Line Camp and Welcome Week, to foster belonging and excitement for new students and inspire them to take ownership of their unique Baylor story. Each of these sessions includes a two day introductory view of campus and interest sessions for students to be better informed when they begin classes in the fall. These sessions range from exploring Baylor’s exceptional academic programs to campus life experiences to financial aid.
“New Student Orientation is an exciting time for Baylor University as we welcome incoming students and families,” said Whitney Jones, associate director for Orientation at Baylor. “Often, families and students are unsure about what they will experience during Orientation. The one thing they are expecting is to receive a course schedule. In addition to meeting with an academic adviser and registering for classes, it is our goal to provide a transformational experience while reassuring them that Baylor University is their home. I hope incoming students, parents and families experience connection, God’s love and community while attending New Student Orientation.”
While at Dr Pepper Hour, incoming freshman Ramye Kirkland of Hampton, Georgia, took part in the Media Lab recording studio. She smiled, held a sign that read, “I’m excited to go to Baylor because,” and spoke into the camera. The Media Lab was one of many organizations gathered at the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation to inform and build excitement about attending Baylor for incoming freshmen. Events like these are good for new students, Kirkland said.
“I believe that Orientation is helping students get to know where they’ll actually be, so you’re not just coming on campus and being left to fend for yourself,” Kirkland said. “You’re actually getting the opportunity to view some inside things that you’ll actually experience here on campus.”
Kirkland plans to study biology and eventually decide on a second major. Her desire for a double major is one of the reasons she decided to come to Baylor.
“I researched how many students at Baylor actually had the opportunity to become a double major, and they’re actually very successful with their double majors,” Kirkland said. “Also, when I visited campus my junior year of high school, I fell in love with the community feeling and the bond that people had here.”
The best part of orientation is the atmosphere on campus, Kirkland said.
“I’m loving the entire atmosphere. Everybody on campus is so friendly and helping and welcoming and I’m really loving it,” Kirkland said.
Incoming freshman Josh Hudson of Colleyville was quick to claim Dr Pepper as the best part of Orientation.
“My favorite part of Orientation so far has definitely been Dr Pepper Hour,” Hudson said. “I’m also looking forward to the advising tomorrow – I’m pretty curious about that.”
Hudson enjoys the amount of information being made available to students during Orientation.
“Orientation provides a lot of introductory information, which is very helpful, and it helps you know what to anticipate and look forward to,” Hudson said. “I like to know what’s coming up, not just fly by the seat of my pants or go with the flow, and this process has helped a lot with that.”
Orientation leader Madeline Bergen, junior speech pathology major from Arlington, is excited about being able to give back to the university she loves while shaping younger students.
“I think Orientation gives incoming students the opportunity to look up to people and see what kind of community Baylor is and how the Orientation leaders all interact together.” Bergen said. “I think it’s cool to see our friendships and that maybe someday they can have those kinds of friendships with other people.”
This Orientation is special for Bergen because of the way that she is able to see the Baylor community shine through every experience.
“I’m very excited to convey the love this community has,” Bergen said. “It’s incredible to see Jesus work through people and I can definitely tell that in this setting.”
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.