Friday Night Lights: Huskie Family Welcome to kick off new year

NIU faculty, staff encouraged to attend Aug. 22 event at Convo Center

Huskie Family Welcome logoFor years, NIU freshmen embraced their families with goodbye hugs Thursday night and launched their new lives as college students Friday morning.

Now both of those transformational moments will occur together during the evening of Friday, Aug. 22, with the introduction of the Huskie Family Welcome. Many people across campus have been involved in re-visioning the event, which will include a less-formal feel and highlight opportunities for student involvement both inside and outside the classroom

The 6:30 p.m. ceremony at the Convocation Center will greet new students and their loved ones with music and other performances as well as short remarks from NIU President Doug Baker and NIU Student Association President Joe Frascello.

Alex Gelman, director of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Everyone, including NIU faculty and staff, is encouraged to attend.

“This will be a great opportunity for all of us to come together and welcome everyone to this next academic year,” said Melanie Tucker, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. “The collective experience of being in one place with our incoming class, who will be wearing their Northern PACT T-shirts showing their support for the principles of community – purposeful, just, caring, open, disciplined and celebrative – that they affirmed at Orientation, will be a powerful visual.”

Alexis Lamb

Alexis Lamb

Collaboration between students and facultya key emphasis of the NIU experience – provides the theme for the night.

  • Senior physics major Octavio Escalante-Aguirre will discuss his research project with Department of Physics professor Michael Eads.
  • Alexis Lamb, a music education and percussion performance major, will perform a berimbau duet with School of Music professor Greg Beyer.
  • Bernard Chestleigh, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Bachelor of General Studies program, will discuss his work on the NIU Forensics team with Judy Santacaterina, who directs that program. Chestleigh also will present a spoken word performance of the poem “Gorgeous” by Rives.

“NIU Forensics has been like a second family to me,” Chestleigh said. “Our adviser, Judy Santacanterina, has nurtured my growth as a performer and as a person.”

Other highlights of the evening include the NIU Steel Band, which will play the NIU Alma Mater, and Eric Weldy, vice president for the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, who will talk about some of the values the NIU community holds dear, particularly surrounding the Northern PACT pledge.

“By attending the Huskie Family Welcome, faculty, staff, and community members will be able to show their support for our new students and demonstrate to them, as well as their family members, that we are here to help their students achieve success, in the classroom and beyond,” Weldy said.

For more information, call (815) 753-1573 or email pfisher@niu.edu.

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