Editor’s note: This story is reprinted from the April issue of GCU Magazine. To view the digital version of the magazine, click here.
By Rick Vacek
It soon will be time to start creating new memories at Grand Canyon University – students will begin arriving on campus in earnest in just six weeks. And there’s no better place for new beginnings than Welcome Week, scheduled for Aug. 19-24 this year.
The message is simple, said Charity Norman, Director of Welcome Programs:
“ ‘Welcome. We want you here, we love it here and you belong here.’ Our goal in this office is to ensure that every student and every parent and every family member and every dog that’s sitting in the car is getting that same feeling.”
Among the new features of Welcome Week this year are interactive tours of campus facilities. For example, instead of hearing about the Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic in a PowerPoint presentation, students can go there, take a picture of the information with their cellphone and maybe even listen to a nurse talk about it.
In response to suggestions at Welcome Week last year, there will be a New Parent and Family Orientation. “We’re here to be their partner in their student’s education,” Norman said.
Also, Academic and Career Excellence (ACE) will host socials for new students in each of their individual colleges, there will be a pinning ceremony for the newcomers’ families, and they all will be able to enjoy an afternoon social after orientation is over.
Even the summer orientations have an interesting new twist: Beyond Lope Country, an overnight trip to a campground in the wilds of Arizona.
“We want to build up as much opportunity as possible for students to have meaningful interactions with each other and with the University,” Norman said.
That’s how grand memories get started.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or email@example.com.