The annual Jet Days orientation for new students was once again the highlight for many. Hundreds of new students participated in the event-filled weekend, meeting their new classmates, touring campus, learning about transitioning to college life and just having fun.
It all began on Friday morning as students and their families drove into the parking lot of Carrocci Hall, the residence hall reserved for incoming freshmen, and got settled in. Faculty and staff volunteered alongside the student orientation leaders to help students and their families unload vehicles and move belongings into the residence hall rooms.
University President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. and Newman Chaplain Fr. John Fogliasso talked to students about how to succeed in college, and specifically about how to thrive at Newman, during the Newman Welcome session which took place in St. John's Chapel.
Special guest Jason LaVasseur, keynote speaker and entertainer, then kicked off the afternoon by engaging students in high-energy team building games and ice breakers. Students moved around the room during challenges, getting to know a little more about their classmates and even creating some new friendships.
The students then broke into their groups, and orientation leaders led them through more activities and team building games before heading over to De Mattias Performance Hall to watch Jason LaVasseur perform, inspiring students to always be the driver in their own lives and to purposefully live each and every day.
Friday came to a close after dinner and entertainment at the Crown Uptown where the Newman Troubadours and magician Daniel Martin performed for students and their families.
Day Two of Jet Days brought another full schedule of activities for students including breakfast with the orientation leaders, and morning group sessions led by Director of Mission Effectiveness Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC, Professor of Communication Audrey Curtis Hane, Ph.D., and Associate Vice President Rosemary Niedens,M.A.
The students then participated in their first of many Traditions and Transitions class sessions where they learn more about their transition to college. Over the course of the semester, the freshmen will participate in activities designed to help maximize the success and satisfaction of their experience at Newman.
The students also participated in a service project during this time, making blankets for children that will be used by the Wichita Police Department.
Detective Jeremy Noel spoke with the students about how their act of kindness would effect the lives of young children in Wichita. Noel talked about giving blankets to children during a very scary time of their life, saying, "I'd like to think that one encounter with a child will last a lifetime."
Bill Cordes, keynote speaker, talked with the group about success in college and life, giving a motivational and comedic speech that had the audience on their feet. Cordes also incorporated interactive games and challenges that came with a coinciding message about overcoming obstacles.
Jet Days concluded with the Welcome Back Bash at Founder's Plaza where students enjoyed a meal and beautiful weather for the party. Music, games, inflatables and even a petting zoo were set up in the open spaces for students to enjoy.