Campus prepares for Opening Weekend Aug. 18 to 21

Roommates David Rudy of Manheim, Pa., and Michel Anderson of Wichita, Kan., pose for a photo by Rudy's mother, Carolyn. Rudy and Anderson are aviation students who arrived at Hesston College early to begin their flight training. Anderson is also beginning workouts with the college's cross country team.

The recent activity on the Hesston College campus after three months, is indication that the college is gearing up for Opening Weekend Aug. 18 to 21 and the start of the new academic year Aug. 22.

Soon the parking lots will be full of cars sporting license plates from 30 states, and students will find their way back to their favorite local hangouts.

Faculty and staff met to prepare for students’ return Aug. 10 during the annual faculty-staff retreat. The half-day event centered on renewal and sustainability, and included sessions on renewing relationships with God, self, others and the environment.

Sustainability will be a campus-wide focus for the 2011-12 year with several courses, spearheaded by the First Year Seminar course, leading discussions and events related to the topic. A common read, “No Impact Man,” will help guide sustainability efforts on campus as well.

Students began the return to campus Aug. 11 as Resident Assistants arrived for training and a weekend retreat. Members of the soccer, cross country and volleyball teams, as well as Bel Canto Singers and Aviation students arrived on campus Aug. 15 to start practices and flight training.

Registration for new and returning off-campus students begins Thursday afternoon, Aug.18.

New and returning on-campus students will go through registration, move into their dorm rooms and attend orientation sessions Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19 and 20.

Opening Weekend activities include Opening Celebration at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Hesston Mennonite Church. Michele Hershberger, Bible and Ministry faculty member, will present a meditation and Bel Canto Singers will perform several selections. An ice cream social for students and their families, faculty and staff will follow Celebration.

A parent breakfast will be Saturday morning, Aug. 20, along with parent orientation sessions.  The day’s festivities include a Performing Arts Open House in Northlawn 109 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for students and parents wanting to learn what the music and theatre departments offer, a volleyball vs. alumni scrimmage at 4 p.m. in Yost Center, and a women’s soccer scrimmage at 6 p.m. followed by a men’s soccer intra-squad game at 7:45 p.m.

Sunday’s schedule features a 10:30 a.m. worship service at Hesston Mennonite Church.  The service will be held in conjunction with the Hesston Mennonite congregation. President Howard Keim will bring the message. Other Sunday activities include Freshmen Games, a picnic for the campus community at 6 p.m. and the annual Mod Olympics at 7 p.m. on the soccer field.