Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Adventure awaits Wofford Class of 2016

Classes begin Monday, Sept. 3

Field Day 2011 382x255
Members of the Class of 2015 participate in Field Day Competiton as part of orientation in 2011. The Class of 2016 will have similar experiences this year as the academic year gets under way.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Starting your college career could be an adventure in and of itself, but members of the Wofford College Class of 2016 will be greeted with even more exciting adventures when they come to campus this week for orientation.

Everything from an opportunity to “be a kid again” to outdoor camp activities to a great campus and Spartanburg community scavenger hunt, these students should have loads of fun just during the first few days of their college careers. 

Wofford will welcome nearly 440 first-year students on Wednesday, Aug. 29, when orientation begins; classes for all students begin on Monday, Sept. 3. 

While Wednesday will be filled with routine activities such as checking in, attending the opening orientation session, and meeting with advisers, the real orientation adventure starts on Thursday when members of the class participate in The Summit at Camp Greystone in Tuxedo, N.C. There, they will swim, canoe and have all sorts of other outdoor fun while getting acquainted with each other. 

On Friday, following tours of the newly renovated Sandor Teszler Library, students will participate in a Field Day Competition at 2:30 p.m. on the front lawn of Main Building, pitting them against each other in everything from tug-of-war to water balloon fights.

Then, on Saturday, from 9 a.m. until noon, Summit Adventures 2012 will provide them with fun, focused activities to acquaint them with their surroundings and their classmates and to give them creative and stimulating outlets.

They will participate in one of several offered activities. In “Be a Kid Again,” students will host a field day for the first-grade students at Arcadia Elementary School, complete with water balloon fights, three-legged races, hula hoop marathons and obstacle courses, with a picnic lunch to follow. The “Wet Paint Workshop” will let students get messy as they use spray paint to help create a large public mural for the city of Spartanburg.

The “Terrier Question Scavenger Hunt” will appeal to the adventuresome student wanting to get to know Wofford and all the “need-to-know” places around Spartanburg a little better. Teams of classmates will explore campus and the surrounding areas by following a series of clues that lead around town – from the “Hot Now” sign that illuminates Church Street to the place where every Terrier should be when basketball season begins.

Other Summit Adventure groups will explore the campus library (complete with video games, miniature golf and other activities for orientation only); “recharge and relax” with movies, meditation and yoga inspiration; and “pull back the curtain” on a day of theatrical exploration and experimentation.

On Sunday, things turn to a more serious issue as the first-year class prepares 25,000 packaged meals for families in Honduras during the Stop the Hunger Now service project. The event will take place from noon to 2 p.m. in the Benjamin Johnson Arena. The Office of the Chaplain, the Interfaith Youth Core, Bonner Scholars and the Office of Student Affairs are sponsoring the event.

In a Wofford town-and-gown tradition, on Tuesday (Sept. 4), the first-year class will meet at 6 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building for the restaurant selection games for The Novel Experience program. In The Novel Experience, students in the class read the same book over the summer – this year, it was Tobias Wolff’s “Old School” – and meet with their Humanities Sections in downtown restaurants to discuss the work. The exercise also gives the students an opportunity to get to know the community better, and to illustrate the impact Wofford has on the surrounding area. Later in the semester, on Sept. 20, the author will be on campus for The Novel Experience Convocation (11 a.m. in Leonard Auditorium), and select student essays about the book will be published in a book handed out at that event.

Opening Convocation, the official opening gathering of the campus community, will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, in Leonard Auditorium. President Benjamin B. Dunlap, who announced earlier this year his plans to retire at the end of June 2013, will address students, faculty and staff. The event is free and open to the public.

Here are key events as Wofford opens the 2012-13 academic year:

Wednesday, Aug. 29
First-year students arrive

Thursday, Aug. 30
11 a.m. – First-year students at The Summit, Camp Greystone, Tuxedo, N.C.

Friday, Aug. 31
Returning students arrive
2:30 p.m. – Field Day Competition, lawn of Main Building

Saturday, Sept. 1
9 a.m.-noon – Summit Adventures (various locations on and off campus)

Sunday, Sept. 2
Noon-2 p.m. – Lunch and Stop the Hunger Now service project, Benjamin Johnson Arena, Campus Life Building

Monday, Sept. 3
Classes begin

Tuesday, Sept. 4
6 p.m. – The Novel Experience restaurant selection event, Leonard Auditorium, Main Building; followed by dinner in various Spartanburg restaurants

Thursday, Sept. 6
11 a.m. – Opening Convocation, Leonard Auditorium, Main Building; speaker, President Benjamin B. Dunlap

Wednesday, Sept. 19
4 p.m. – Annual Constitution Day Observance, Leonard Auditorium, Main Building

Thursday, Sept. 20
11 a.m. – Class of 2016 Convocation: The Novel Experience, Leonard Auditorium, Main Building; speaker, Tobias Wolff, author of “Old School”