Fall semester kicks off with Triton Take-Off, Weeks of Welcome events

by | Aug 20, 2020

First-year and transfer students participate in traditional events such as College 101, Friday Frenzy Fun and the Serendipity Sendoff, which take place virtually this semester.
Serendipity Sendoff 2018

Traditional welcome events like the Serendipity Sendoff, pictured here in 2018, are taking place largely in a virtual setting to allow first-year and transfer students to connect with peers and access resources while helping stem the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by August Jennewein; other images courtesy of New Student Programs)

Since March, the University of Missouri–St. Louis campus has been largely quiet as students completed coursework remotely and faculty and staff worked from their homes. But that’s changed as the fall 2020 semester kicks off.

First-year and transfer students are beginning their UMSL journeys, and the Office of New Student Programs is providing an array of events to make them feel welcome.

“College can seem overwhelming, whether it’s your first time going to college or transferring from another school,” said Megan Green Simonds, director of New Student Programs. “This weekend presents an opportunity for students to connect outside of the classroom, make a few friends and find campus resources to turn to when they need help. It also provides a sense of belonging and excitement that UMSL was the right choice in continuing their education and that they are ready to transform with this new journey as an UMSL Triton.”

This year, the majority of Triton Take-Off and Weeks of Welcome events are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But students are still able to enjoy UMSL’s beloved traditions, like Friday Frenzy Fun and the Serendipity Sendoff.

Welcome events take months of planning and collaboration between New Student Programs, Student Involvement, Residential Life and Housing, the Pierre Laclede Honors College, Campus Recreation, individual academic units and more.

“There is something for everyone, whether it’s learning about additional campus resources, connecting with peers in a smaller setting, navigating campus through tours, participating in campus traditions or just having fun before classes begin,” Simonds said. “It presents a level of excitement for this new milestone.”

Here is a preview of some of the events:

Triton Connections

Triton Connections – Aug. 21 at 4 p.m.

Students connected with each other through virtual group meetups. They hopped in and out of sessions designed for first-generation students, commuter students, LGBTQ+ students, veterans and more.


College 101

College 101 – Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m. and Aug. 22 at 11 a.m.

College 101 sessions provided answers to UMSL-related questions, covering topics from safety to dining to getting involved on campus.


Friday Frenzy Fun

Friday Frenzy Fun – Aug. 21 at 8 p.m.

Students tried their luck and earned prizes at Late Night Virtual Bingo, sponsored by Fraternity and Sorority Life. Other participants got creative at the Pinterest Painting Party, where they painted UMSL-inspired artwork.


Virtual Yoga Class

Virtual Yoga – Aug. 22 at 10 a.m.

Participants relaxed and embraced calm as they began the new semester by taking a virtual yoga class with Campus Recreation.


Serendipity Sendoff

Serendipity Sendoff –Aug. 22 at 4 p.m.

The Serendipity Sendoff is a beloved Triton tradition that includes the ceremonial passing of the torch to incoming freshmen.

“This year, instead of signing the Trident or rubbing the Wayne Goode statue for good luck, we hosted this virtual welcome with Chancellor Kristin Sobolik, Student Government Association leaders, UMSL alumni and additional student representatives to officially kick off the 2020-2021 academic year,” Simonds said. “We are also asking students to submit a photo for a memorable Trident mosaic picture.”

Watch the recording of the fall 2020 Serendipity Sendoff.


Welcome Back Triton Bash

Welcome Back Triton Bash – Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.

Students had a great time celebrating the start of the semester and connected with peers at the Welcome Back Triton Bash. Student Involvement hosted a virtual party with three themes to choose from.


Student Involvement Week

Student Involvement Week – Aug. 31- Sept. 4

Find an organization that fits your interests as UMSL’s campus groups and student organizations virtually showcase what they have to offer. Nearly 150 groups provide a wide range of focus areas, from the environment to leadership to service.


Drive-In Movie

University Program Board Drive-In Movie – Sept. 1 at 8 p.m.

It’s a blast from the ’50s! Take in a movie and remain socially distanced from the comfort of your vehicle. The parking lot by Marillac Hall will turn into a drive-in theater for a relaxing evening under the stars.


Visit the Weeks of Welcome web page for more details and a complete list of events. To RSVP for events, visit MyEngage.

If you have questions, contact New Student Programs at newstudentprograms@umsl.edu or call 314-516-5271.

Karen Holman

Karen Holman

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