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Students Return to Campus as Orientation Begins

Traffic crews are busy in the Gonzaga University neighborhood today as new students, their belongings and their parents descend upon campus for the start of the 2010-2011 academic year. While classes begin Tuesday (Aug. 31), Friday marked the beginning of Orientation Weekend and five bleary-eyed Gonzaga students who comprise the Orientation Core watch as their months of planning and organizing play out before their eyes. Meet the students coordinating Orientation.

Each year, Gonzaga chooses a theme to incorporate throughout the entire school year and this year’s theme is “beauty.” The theme for Orientation this year is “Grow into Gonzaga: The Journey Starts Here.” The theme represents the beauty of nature and the growth students will experience during four years here. The life of a Zag is a beautiful journey. In keeping with this theme, the summer reading book is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde.

Organizers have a slew of exciting events and activities planned for new Zags and their families this weekend, including President Thayne McCulloh’s address to parents at 8 p.m. today. Residence hall activities run until 10 p.m., and GU Fred Meyer night is from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. at the 400 S. Thor St. store (map).

On Saturday, all faculty and administrators are invited to the Parent Wine and Cheese Social from 6:30-8 p.m., in the east lobby of the McCarthey Athletic Center. After that, Welcome Night festivities for students will run until midnight.

On Sunday (Aug. 29), from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., President McCulloh will host a reception in front of College Hall on The Eric and Ina Johnston Family Mall. The reception is always a popular event, and a great opportunity for new students and their families to meet President McCulloh, have coffee and a pastry and chat with faculty and administrators. At 1 p.m., Sunday, all new members of the Gonzaga community are encouraged to attend the Welcome Mass in St. Aloysius Church. Rev. Steve Kuder, S.J., rector of Gonzaga’s Jesuit Community and member of the religious studies faculty, will preside at the Welcome Mass and President McCulloh will offer reflections.

Monday brings heavy-duty academics for the new students as the Academic Convocation begins at 9:30 a.m. in St. Aloysius Church. This year, English department faculty member Ann Ciasullo and math department Chair Tom McKenzie will address new students at the convocation. The student speaker will be William (aka “Wim”) Roach, a senior history major. Dean of Admission Julie McCulloh will formally present the Class of 2014 to faculty.

Key Orientation Events, Dates and Times

Friday-Monday Aug. 27-30: Orientation for new Gonzaga students;

Friday ~ Aug. 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Residence Hall Check-in;

8 p.m.: President Thayne McCulloh’s Address to Parents;

11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Fred Meyer Night (400 S. Thor St. store)

Saturday ~ Aug. 28, 9 a.m.-noon: Residence Hall Check-In/Move-In

Noon-4 p.m.: Student Information Sessions (Helping students with the transition).

Noon- 4 p.m.: Parent Information Sessions (Helping parents with the transition).

6:30-8 p.m.: Wine & Cheese Social for Parents & Faculty, East Lobby, McCarthey Athletic Center;

8 p.m.-midnight: Welcome Night Event (for students)

Sunday ~ Aug. 29 9 a.m.-noon: Student Loan Sessions;

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: President’s Reception, Johnston Family Mall in front of College Hall;

1 p.m.: Welcome Mass for new students and parents, St. Aloysius Church.

Monday ~ Aug. 30, 9:30 a.m.: Academic Convocation, St. Aloysius Church.

10:45-11:15 a.m.:  Freshman Advisor Meetings;

Noon-2 p.m.: Student Employment Fair;

5-7 p.m.: Welcome Back Dinner;

Tuesday ~  Aug. 31, Classes Begin

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