Unveiling the new Student Union Building and spreading the “I am True Blue” word will be at the forefront of MTSU’s fall semester and 2012-13 academic year.
The nearly 211,000-square-foot Student Union Building opened Aug. 24 at 7 a.m. The facility, whose length is said to be one-and-a-half football fields or 150 yards, is located on the east side of campus near the University Honors College and the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.
The building features Phillips Bookstore; a 640-seat food court and 102-seat casual dining restaurant; an 840-seat ballroom; student government, Student Involvement and Leadership and other offices; a Parliamentary Room; theater; collaborative computer center; and much more. (See a video tour of the building at mtsunews.com/new-student-union-tour.)
And, as a spinoff of the True Blue pledge revealed at Convocation 2011, “I am true Blue” will be a key theme as students, faculty, staff and administrators launch the new year.
Once again, it will be a busy semester and year that begins this week with a full schedule of activities, including:
- the Fall Faculty Meeting and MTSU Foundation Awards at 10 a.m. Friday in Tucker Theatre, featuring an address by President Sidney A. McPhee;
- We-Haul move in from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, when campus volunteers and staff help new and returning students move into residence halls;
- the first official day of classes on Saturday, Aug. 25, as set by the Tennessee Board of Regents;
- Convocation, which is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, in Murphy Center and will feature guest speaker Tori Murden McClure, author of “A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean”; and
- the annual President’s Picnic, which follows Convocation on Sunday and is held in Walnut Grove, located between the Cope Administration Building and Peck Hall, and across from the James Union Building.
Week of Welcome activities begin with the We-Haul move in. For a full list, visit the New Student and Family Programs website at www.mtsu.edu/nsfp/welcome_nsfp.php or click on the poster at left for a downloadable version.
The first full day of classes will be Monday, Aug. 27.
Among the highlights of the first week and Week of Welcome will be the Thursday, Aug. 30, home football opener as the MT Blue Raiders meet McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. in Floyd Stadium. Other Blue Raider athletic teams also have their fall seasons getting under way.
“I am looking forward to the 2012-2013 academic year,” University Provost Brad Bartel said. “MTSU begins the year with new deans, department chairs and distinguished new faculty all adding to the mix, with established individuals providing our students with an unparalleled education.
“In addition, we have new degree programs and exceptional new buildings adding to the richness of the environment. It will be a great year.”
The Division of Student Affairs, which will be housed in the long-awaited Student Union Building, also is thrilled about the new academic year.
“We’re looking forward to a very exciting new year for 2012-13,” said Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services. “Obviously, the new Student Union is going to have an enormous impact on the quality of student life on the campus.
“We’ll be busy, especially helping students become acquainted with the programs, services and many activities available in the new union. We (also) will be rolling out a new suite of recruitment activities as we work to attract additional students to the Blue Raider family.”
MTSU plans special recruiting trips to Johnson City on Sept. 25, Knoxville on Sept. 26, Chattanooga on Oct. 2, Nashville on Oct. 8, Memphis on Oct. 24 and Jackson on Oct. 25.
Along with athletic events, this fall there will be special music, theatre and dance opportunities open to the public. Homecoming is scheduled for the weekend of Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7, and the weekly Honors Lecture Series features various faculty takes on “The City.” Fall 2012 commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)