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2019 freshman class photo in front of Ayres Hall on August 18, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of Tennessee

Welcome Week

This year, we welcomed more than 29,000 students to the university for the 2019-2020 academic year. Of those, more than 6,700 are new Vols and approximately 1,500 are first year students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

During Welcome Week, faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Sciences hosted an event to showcase all we have to offer. The event began with Dean Lee and the college student ambassadors welcoming new first year students in the Student Union Auditorium. Dean Lee shared her journey as a liberal arts major from a “one-grain-elevator town” to dean of the college. She inspired students to follow their dreams and explore all we have to offer in the college and at UT. Dean Lee even tried her hand at shooting a T-shirt cannon!

Students were then escorted to the Student Union Ballroom where they had an opportunity to interact with faculty and staff from each of our departments and programs. Students visited tables, talked with faculty, and learned more about their major, a minor they are considering, a course they are excited about, and even courses they are either anxious about or never heard of before.

“My Degree Matters” was the theme of the day and students filled out post-it notes with answers to why their degree matters. Students wrote down several things – from solving the world’s biggest problems and helping others to acquiring transferable skills and being creative. Whether they are exploring their options or already on their chosen career path, members of the incoming first year class are inspired to change the world.