The University of St. Thomas will usher in a new school year with a host of Welcome Week events that start with the residence hall move-in this Saturday, Sept. 3, and end with the Opening Mass and Reception on Sunday, Sept. 11.
Events open to all faculty, staff and students include the traditional March Through the Arches (aka Quad Applaud), Interfaith Blessing for the New School Year and Opening Picnic, all on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Mark your calendar and plan to attend the events below:
March Through the Arches: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, St. Paul campus lower quadrangle (open to all St. Thomas students, faculty and staff).
Welcome the newest St. Thomas students! New first-year, transfer and international students will gather on the Summit Avenue side of the Arches by 10:30 a.m. After a brief welcome from Marla Friederichs, associate vice president of enrollment services, and Gregory Scharine, president of the Undergraduate Student Government, students will walk through the Arches to the applause of faculty, staff, fellow students and some families.
When the new students graduate, they’ll walk through the Arches again on their way to commencement exercises. It’s all about tradition.
(To all those who will applaud the new students, meet in the lower quad between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. and please stay on the sidewalks so we don’t harm the new sod on the lower quad. If it rains, we simply will begin with the blessing in the field house.)
Interfaith Blessing for the New School Year and Opening Picnic: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, Anderson Athletic and Recreation Center field house (open to all St. Thomas students, faculty and staff).
People of all faiths are welcome to meet in the field house for a service to mark the beginning of the new academic year. Speakers will include Father Dennis Dease, president of the university, Dr. Sue Huber, executive vice president and chief academic officer, Jane Canney, vice president for student affairs, and Father Erich Rutten, director of Campus Ministry.
A free campuswide picnic follows the ceremony. This year, the Opening Picnic will include a tent for fresh produce sellers Nancy and Robert Lee. The Albertville residents sell their produce at farmers’ markets in Rogers, Brooklyn Park, St. Paul at University Avenue and Dale Street, and at Hmong Town. Read more about the Lees here.
Note that university offices traditionally close during Interfaith Blessing and Opening Picnic. Signs informing visitors of closings should be posted by Thursday, Sept. 1.
President’s Opening Convocation: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium, St. Paul campus (open to St. Thomas faculty and staff).
Father Dennis Dease, president, will welcome new faculty and staff and give his annual convocation address.
Minneapolis campus Interfaith Blessing for the New School Year and Picnic: 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, Schulze Grand Atrium, School of Law.
All Minneapolis campus students, faculty and staff are invited to come together to ask for blessings on the new academic year. Faculty, staff and students will offer readings and intercessions from several faith traditions. A free picnic follows.
Opening Mass and Reception: 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Paul campus (all are welcome).
Father Dennis Dease presides and is homilist for a liturgy to open the new school year.