The 2012-2013 school year began at Pacific Union College with a week of special events to kick off the new academic year and welcome new and returning students to life at PUC.
Week of Welcome, or "WOW," was planned to jump start the school year and "get new and returning students excited about PUC and all that it offers, right from the start," explains senior theology major Samantha Angeles, president of the Student Association.
"President Knight was instrumental in making this happen," notes Angeles. "The support and presence of President Knight, our administrators, and various faculty and staff at the different events was wonderful for us as students."
The event series began on Monday afternoon with the welcome back celebration on the campus mall. The carnival-themed event featured information tables from campus organizations and departments as well as local organizations and businesses, face-painting stations, a dunk tank, and free food.
At 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, the school came together in the Pacific Auditorium to support student athletes at Midnight Madness—a pep rally held to cheer on Pioneers Athletics at the beginning of every school year. Hundreds of students packed the stands to cheer the teams and then joined in a special prayer to bless the athletes during their season.
The week also included a luau pool party at the Hanson Memorial Pool on Tuesday night; the first installment of the Colloquy Speaker Series featuring education advocate and gospel singer Whitney Phipps on Thursday morning, and Rebuilding Calistoga, a local community service event.
While the goal was to ease students' transition back to school, the events also had a deeper purpose. "It was incredible to witness such strong PUC spirit," adds Angeles. "My goal is that this week would not simply be archived on the 'that was fun' list, but that the spirit of unity and togetherness it started will carry on throughout the school year."