Welcome, Class of 2022
Welcome Week at The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is a five-day, fun-filled program that includes sessions about spirit and traditions, inflatables, food trucks, and events that help new students get to know their peers and understand the significance of becoming a Crusader for life. This campus-wide event, established in 1940, continues to evolve every year, and this year, the largest incoming class in UMHB history took part.
Freshmen business major Jared Poe said, “Welcome Week was amazing. I connected with my Cru group a lot.”
“The dubbing with my Cru group” is what Poe said was his favorite part. “We were so excited to be Crusaders for life.”
In 1940, Welcome Week was a nine-day event that consisted of “Teas, dinners and lecture courses” according to a document of the “Freshman Schedule” in the Musick Alumni Museum Library.
By 1979, Welcome Week had come to look like the fun-filled event that today’s students are familiar with.
However, it was called “New Student Orientation” and consisted of a week-long program that included free movies, sporting events, placement testing, barbeques and swim parties. In the 1980s, the name was changed back to Welcome Week and has maintained the title to this day.
One person who truly understands the rich history of Welcome Week and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor itself is Ms. Betty Sue Beebe. She graduated from UMHB in 1961, later becoming the Alumni Director in 1981 for 21 years, the Director of Alumni Development for the following seven years, and then she worked part-time as the Alumni Museum Curator until 2017. As a student, Beebe built lasting friendships with those eventually dubbed “North End Gang” because they met in the north end of Stribling Hall. They have since traveled the world together.
Sophomore Psychology major Naomi Lewis, who was a Cru Leader for Welcome Week 2018 talked about being a Cru Leader for the first time.
“I really liked getting to see how eager the students were when they first came to UMHB,” Lewis said. “I got to settle some of their nerves that they had. I wanted them to have the best Welcome Week experience.”
Senior Christian Studies and Public Relations double major Samuel Kinnin, who was also co-director of Welcome Week 2018, describes the impact of the event in his own life.
“My favorite thing about Welcome Week is seeing the transformation in the lives of new students. They come in shy and nervous about their college experience, but throughout the week, they get outside their comfort zones and make new friends,” Kinnin said.
“It’s so rewarding to watch that process and see how much this event means to new students,” He said.
“Welcome Week is a wonderful start to the new year and a way to welcome in a new class.