"Hello, Welcome to USD": Orientation Prepares New Toreros to Embrace School Year

"Hello, Welcome to USD": Orientation Prepares New Toreros to Embrace School Year

A warm and sunny Southern California day greeted more than 1,000 new students as they moved in and began orientation activities on campus. With OLÈ! Weekend marking the beginning of the 2019-2020 undergraduate academic year, the events served as an introduction to the campus and Torero community.

An enthusiastic “Hello and Welcome to USD!” was a common greeting since the last week of August for those who attended pre-orientation events hosted by Outdoor Adventures, University Ministry, International Orientation team members and Student Support Services’ Summer Bridge.

It was shown in the way that USD’s Radical Hospitality team members, student-athletes and USD President James T. Harris assisted incoming young men and women and their families to the residence halls. It was evidenced by faculty, staff, parents, alumni and all volunteers who shared the many campus resources available. There were many special events to celebrate and support first-generation students, Black students, LGBTQ+ and Allies, LatinX, introduce new Toreros to the Changemaking philosophy (25 breakout sessions, five field trip opportunities) and all students connecting to their respective Living-Learning Communities. A Mass of Welcome on Sept. 1 in the JCP provided a wonderful melding of community to experience the joy and the mission of the university.

On Tuesday, the highlight was the New Student Convocation where Vice President and Provost Gail F. Baker, PhD, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Noelle Norton, PhD, President Harris and numerous administrators and faculty members, new Associated Students President Marion Chavarria Rivera and three USD alumni — Jane Henderson ’17 (BA Spanish and Ethnic Studies), William Andrew Griffin ’12 (BBA in Finance and Business Economics) and Rishika Daryanani ’16 (BS/BA in Industrial and Systems Engineering) — gathered with all first-years in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Following the inspiring invocation by Associate University Minister Aly Monteleone, Dean Norton spoke about the value of a liberal arts education, the alumni speakers reflected on the importance of their USD experience and offered a glimpse into the potential success that awaits those in the Class of 2023. AS President Rivera delivered a land acknowledgement that USD exists on native lands of the Kumeyaay Nation and then administered the Academic Integrity Pledge. Dr. Baker closed with a few remarks and introduced members of the USD Pep Band, USD Cheer and mascot Diego Torero to perform the USD Fight Song.

An all-campus barbecue at the Paseo de Colachis area last night drew new Toreros, student athletes, coaches, faculty, staff, administrators to great food provided by USD Dining Services, recreational games and a live music set from DJ Swish, who routinely performs at USD student and athletic events. The best part was seeing students who a week or less did not know each other eating, laughing and connecting with each other.

It was the perfect visual of what’s to come for those who attend USD in 2019-20 and beyond. It was a welcome sight in preparation for the first day of school today (and Thursday for some) when thousands of students will take their first — or their newest — steps on their personal pathway to success.

— USD News Center

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