Under the leadership of New Student and Family Programs (NSFP), Virginia Tech has planned a robust Welcome Week for fall 2021. As the university observes its sesquicentennial – the 150th anniversary of its founding – NSFP, along with an abundance of campus partners, has more than 150 events scheduled for Welcome Week, which starts with new Hokies moving into their residence halls on Saturday, Aug. 14 and runs through Gobblerfest on Saturday, Sept. 4.

“With the slimmed down and virtual programs offered last year, we made it our mission to create an amazing Welcome Week in 2021 full of experiences for all students,” said Interim Associate Dean and Director of New Student and Family Programs Gabby McCollum. “Our campus partners answered the call, and we have every day and night filled with activities of many varieties.”

Sessions are informative, interactive, and entertaining, and will help students get to know the campus with their Welcome Week leaders. They’ll also connect with their academic colleges to get a jumpstart before classes begin on Monday, Aug. 23. They will meet other first-year students from their residence halls and majors. Evening social events will provide a relaxed setting to unwind from daytime activities.

“Welcoming new Hokies into the Hokie Nation is one of the things I am looking forward to as a Welcome Week leader. I strongly believe no other university has so much school spirit and has so many students excited to be here,” said Welcome Week leader Dianna Padilla, a junior studying National Security and Foreign Affairs. “When you see the Drillfield full of different activities and people from different backgrounds, you really do get that sense of community and realize that VT is home!

“Being able to connect through different events the university hosts during Welcome Week also lets you meet so many people, whether it is in your residence hall, during the welcome week concert, or even watching a movie on the Drillfield,” said Padilla. “With all these events going on you wouldn't want to miss out. See you soon Hokies!”

The slew of social events for new Hokies run the gamut – cookouts, movie and bingo nights, open gym and recreational times, a casino night, GobblerNights, the Hokie Hi Spirit Rally, and a blow-out concert just outside Lane Stadium planned for Friday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.

“There is something for students to do almost every hour of every day until classes start,” said Associate Director of Family Programs Jonathan Tunwar. “We have planned the mandatory meetings each new student must attend, but the number of social events on the calendar for them to choose from is enormous. I don’t think there is a single person who can say there is nothing for them to do.”

Virginia Tech wanted to include second-year students in its planning for Welcome Week and has made many of the social events available for them as well. Welcome Week provides first-year experiences to both the class of 2025 and 2024.

“As we begin a year working to get more in-person activities, we have two classes of first year experiences – the class of 2025, but also the class of 2024 – and I am so glad we are getting to fulfill those activities we didn’t originally get,” said Welcome Week leader Elle Smith, a sophomore in the Honors College studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. “Virginia Tech has been a great support during unsettling times. They have always heard the needs of the students. They are making sure sophomores are getting the in-person first-year experiences all Hokies need.”

NSFP is encouraging students to download the Hokies on Track app for either My First Year or My Transfer First Year to get the most up-to-date information on the Welcome Week schedule. The schedule and links to the Hokies on Track app are also available online.

Written by Marc Mullen

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