Members of the class of 2015 had the chance to experience beloved University of Tennessee traditions their first week on campus.
Dozens spray-painted their names on the Rock, a megaton chunk of dolomite, as part of the festivities. They also ran through the T at Neyland Stadium and paused for a photo-op on the turf.
UT officials said they had record attendance at the Life of the Mind assembly and group discussions and “impressive, never-before-seen engagement by our first-year students,” according to Assistant Provost Ruth Darling, who oversees the First-Year Studies program.
Welcome Leaders, upperclassmen tasked with shepherding freshmen through first-week activities, were key in the success of mass campus-wide engagement. They gave first-year students a friendly face and immediate link to the campus community.
There were 162 Welcome Week Teams, each with a Welcome Leader, according to Ashleigh Moyer, director of the Office of Student Activities. The Welcome Leaders will continue to serve as mentors and resources to the freshmen by assisting in their transition to college.
Other successful Welcome Week events included the Freshmen CarniVOL Cookout, the Video Dance Party, and Torch Night.
During Torch Night, freshmen opened envelopes to find orange and white tassels with “2015” dangling in gold—encouragement to graduate on time.
The UT Police Department also launched a “See Something, Say Something” campaign to reduce crime. They went door to door in the Fort Sanders neighborhood in an effort to involve residents in promoting safety and encourage them to report incidents, no matter how small.
Watch the Class of 2015 assemble for their class photo: