Welcome class of 2016

Welcome class of 2016

Mercer University will welcome the incoming Class of 2016 as the majority of incoming students will begin to move in to their dorm rooms on Aug. 18.
In order to aid the freshman class with transitioning from high school to college, Bear Beginnings is organized to give the incoming students and their families an enjoyable and stressfree experience. The incoming Class of 2016 is expected to have more than 650 students.
“Bear Beginnings is a first-year student’s first few days as a Mercer Bear,” said Amanda Carls, coordinator of new student programs. “Not only will they meet members from the incoming Class of 2016, but they will also experience support in their transition to Mercer as our Peer Advisors, faculty and staff introduce them to academics, campus life and the Mercer community.”
Move-in will begin at 9 a.m. and last the majority of the day as students prepare their college homes in Mary Erin Porter Residence Hall Complex, Plunkett Hall and Roberts Hall. As a Mercer tradition to welcome the new students and their families, Mercer Movers will assist with the moving process. Mercer Movers consists of student and faculty volunteers who help move boxes and furniture from incoming student’s vehicles to their rooms.
Following move-in, incoming student and their families are invited to have refreshments with Toby, the University’s beloved bear mascot, in the University Center. The event will last from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Tot, the female mascot, will also be present to meet the new Mercerians. Families and their students are able to have their photos taken and framed as a gift to remember the first day of college. Students are also able to receive a free Class of 2016 t-shirt for the class photo at this event.
New Mercerians will need their class t-shirts at the welcome ceremony that will take place in the University Center Hawkins Arena at 2:30 p.m. Here, the students will learn the Mercer fight song as well as other Mercer traditions and take a class photo.
As a part of the first day of Bear Beginnings, students will meet with their orientation groups otherwise known as “o-groups” and meet their peer advisor and resident assistant.
The weekend following move-in day consists of many activities for freshmen to keep busy and meet a variety of people.  Freshman favorites include the street carnival on Aug. 19 from 8-10 p.m. on Porter Patch. The traditional event includes a DJ, karaoke and inflatable games.
On Aug. 20, the Class of 2016 will participate in one of their first Mercer traditions as they attend their first Convocation. Convocation will take place in Willingham Hall from 2-3:30 p.m. The traditional academic ceremony will end with the students signing the Class of 2016 banner.
Following Convocation is Bear Fair, an event where new students can meet various student organizations on campus and learn how they can become involved.
“Students enjoy the orientation programming, especially the Sunday Night street party, pizza party, Bear Fair, New Student Convocation, time with O-groups and meeting future friends and classmates,” said Carls.
Bear Beginnings will commence with “Ice Cream with the Underwoods” on Porter Patch from 6-8 p.m. with the Underood family.