MTSU orientation welcomes new freshman Class of 20...

MTSU orientation welcomes new freshman Class of 2022, transfer students

They have attended their senior proms and completed their finals. All are awaiting graduation from their respective high schools or home school associations.

About 3,000 freshmen — the Class of 2022 — and 2,500 transfers — the Class of ’20 — are being welcomed by MTSU officials and departments as CUSTOMS orientation is fully underway.

A freshman for fall 2018 receives helpful information.

Meghan Wassom, left, an incoming freshman from Murfreesboro, receives helpful information from Matt Vining, an MTSU junior marketing major and Student Orientation Assistant, May 17 during the first day of freshman orientation for students starting at MTSU this fall. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

More than 270 transfers received orientation May 11, and more than 250 future students and 213 parents from across Tennessee and out of state joined the first of the two-day freshman orientation sessions Thursday, May 17, on campus.

Coordinated by the Office of New Student and Family Programs, CUSTOMS guides freshmen through the first steps of being an MTSU student and introduces them to the intellectual, cultural and social climate of the university.

CUSTOMS sessions run through the end of July for new freshmen and early August for transfers. To learn more about the orientation process and other dates, visit

“We’re delighted you’re here,” Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of student affairs and enrollment services, said in her welcome. “The decisions you make on where you will go to college will change your life, and your decisions will change our life. … You will make MTSU a different and better place.”

New MTSU students wait for information from Student Orientation Assistants.

Along with their parents, new MTSU students who will be starting classes this fall wait to receive information from Student Orientation Assistants May 17 in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building on the first day of freshman orientation. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Alexandria “Alex” Hancock of Hendersonville, Tennessee, said she was drawn to the Science Building when she came for a campus tour and plans to major in chemistry. “It definitely is really nice,” she said of the 250,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2014.

The Beech Senior High School student, who was joined by her mother, Monica Hancock, said she was excited to be back on campus for orientation. “I had an amazing visit and I cannot wait to become a Raider in the fall and get connected with the school,” she added.

Kennedy Crawford, a Bartlett High School senior from the Memphis, Tennessee, area, plans to study physical therapy.

She said part of her CUSTOMS expectations was “to make sure I am doing the right path — finding the right major for physical therapy.”

Her mother, Rachel Crawford, joined Crawford at CUSTOMS, as did a cousin, Tamera Parnell, a senior at Arlington High School in Arlington, Tennessee. Parnell plans to study forensics at MTSU.

Lydia Cayton, coordinator of MTSU’s New Student and Family Programs, said the first freshman orientation began on a calm note.

“It is a pretty positive group of people who seem excited to be here,” Cayton added.

— Randy Weiler (

2018 orientation audience in Tucker Theatre

Incoming students and guests attending the first freshman orientation session in Tucker Theater listen as Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of student affairs and enrollment services, explains the “secrets to success” May 17. About 3,000 freshmen and 2,500 transfer students will attend CUSTOMS sessions this summer. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

An MTSU Student Orientation Assistant assists a new student with directions at CUSTOMS orientation.

MTSU Student Orientation Assistant Kennedy Moorman, left, uses a campus map to give Kylin Wynn, right, directions during the CUSTOMS freshman orientation May 17 in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Dr. Deb Sells 2018 CUSTOMS

Deb Sells, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, addresses the audience during the first 2018 freshman CUSTOMS orientation May 17 in Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)