Chancellor Douglas Girod Headshot (copy)

The University Welcome is a new first-year event, hosted by Chancellor Douglas Girod. 

Allen Fieldhouse has been the home of KU basketball since 1955 and now, it’s the home of a new tradition for first-year students.

The University of Kansas held its first official welcome event in the arena Friday morning.

Chancellor Douglas Girod and other faculty members took the microphone to give freshmen advice on how to adapt to their new campus during the hour-long welcome event put on by the Office of First-Year Experience. Girod introduced all of the deans, and before leaving, the freshmen did the Rock Chalk Chant to commemorate the start of their time at the University.

“You have a lot of family friends to make sure that you’re successful,” Girod told students. “That is why we’re here — to make sure that you [succeed].”

The event intended to connect the dots between orientation and the freshmen’s first week on campus, said Howard Graham, the University’s associate director of academic programs and one of the event’s speakers.

The new event replaced former welcome events Jayhawk Jumpstart and Convocation.

Last year, convocation turned out just a little bit over a 100 people, according to an article in the Lawrence Journal-World.

“Coming to Orientation is one thing; but moving into new residence halls; being here on campus; saying goodbye to your parents, family, guests, or whoever brings you here is a different stage in that process from high school to college,” Graham said. “What we [wanted] students to walk away with was some information that grounds them in the idea of what it means to be at the University of Kansas.”

The University Welcome is among one of the many events the Office of First Year Experience organizes during Hawk Week, a week of festivities and events aimed for first-year students to learn about the University’s traditions, meet fellow students and learn about campus resources.