Opening Days begins this week

by Tina Owen,

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Willamette gears up for a new academic year and the arrival of the class of 2020.

An air of excitement and anticipation is creeping across campus, as Willamette prepares to welcome the new Class of 2020 at the end of this week.

While College of Law and AGSM students returned to campus for orientation and other events last week, hundreds of College of Liberal Arts freshmen and transfer and international students — and their parents — will arrive on Thursday for Opening Days.

The student-run program to help newcomers acclimate to Willamette’s academics, accommodations and other resources begins at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Highlights include the kickoff program for students, a picnic dinner for students and families, convocation (featuring speaker Robert Krulwich, cohost of NPR's Radiolab), and the matriculation ceremony when new students float candles down the Mill Stream.

The process of moving students into their residence halls on Thursday is always an exciting and hectic event. With the parking lot at Willamette Heritage Center opposite Kaneko Commons unavailable this year on Thursday, the pressure for students’ families to find parking will be increased. The university encourages staff to use alternative forms of transport — such as biking, walking, carpooling or using public transport — to travel to work on Thursday and Friday.

A shuttle will be available from 7:30-11 a.m. on Thursday between the softball parking lot and Sparks parking lot.

More information: The full schedule of Opening Days events is available online.