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New Student Orientation ready to help freshmen make transition to college

August 15, 2013
By cnp
Posted in Community Events

On Thursday, Aug. 22, more than 60 members of the University of the Ozarks' Student Foundation Board will be on hand to not only help incoming freshmen students move into their residence halls, but also to assist the new students with their early transition to college life.

The University’s new student orientation, scheduled for Aug. 23-25,  is an important event on campus designed to introduce new students to campus and each other.  

Emma Bottorff, director of campus activities, said, "I remember being a freshman here at Ozarks. Showing up that first weekend was really scary, but as I attended more events throughout orientation and met more people, I began to feel more comfortable. Not only do you learn more about Ozarks during that weekend, you meet people that make you feel at home."

This year’s orientation theme is "Exploring New Frontiers, a theme tied to the fact that the University has a new president as well as more than 180 freshmen preparing for the next phase of their life

While the residence halls will open on Thursday at 2:00 p.m., new student orientation activities get started in earnest on Friday, Aug. 23. On Friday, students will continue moving in to the residence halls, check-in at registration, and prepare for Matriculation, their first big event of the weekend.

The Matriculation Ceremony, Ozarks’ way of welcoming new students to campus, is a formal ceremony held in Raymond Munger Memorial Chapel and is an important part of the transition to Ozarks.

"Matriculation is that formal introduction to campus. You sign your name into our rosters, and it’s a mirror image of graduation. It’s the official beginning of your life at Ozarks. It’s actually an emotional time for students and parents as they begin their next phase with this tradition," Bottorff said.

Following the Matriculation Ceremony on Friday night is dinner and conversation in the Rogers Conference Center. After dinner, parents will attend a dessert reception, while students head to Playfair, a light, interactive event designed to help students break the ice and start making friends. Friday night wraps up for students with an ice cream social at the Smith-King plaza.

Saturday, Aug. 24, dawns bright and early with breakfast in the Seay Student Center, followed by the orientation welcome event in the Walton Fine Arts Center. One of the highlights of the welcoming ceremony are skits performed by members of the Student Foundation Board. Saturday is also full of information sessions, panels and tours for both students and parents.

At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, everyone is invited to unwind back at the President’s Picnic. It is a great time to get to know Ozarks’ new president, Richard Dunsworth, as he opens his home to students and their families.

Hypnotist Eric Mina will perform in the Walton Fine Arts Center Saturday night. After Mina’s performance, students will end the night with small group activities back at the Smith-King plaza.

On Sunday, Aug. 25, students and families are invited to attend a campus chapel service followed by lunch in the Seay Student Center. Parents and families say good-bye after lunch, while new students prepare for University 101, a series of skits by orientation leaders. A dinner and the closing ceremony conclude the on-campus events. As a special treat and the perfect way to end an exciting weekend, Clarksville Cinema is hosting a free movie night Sunday at 9 p.m. for all new students.

For more information, including a full schedule of orientation events, visit our website at or call our Student Life Office at 479-979-1322.

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With a bagpipe playing, University of the Ozarks faculty, staff and students welcome new students as they march out of Munger Chapel during a recent Matriculation Ceremony, the official University welcoming event for first-year students.