Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will welcome new freshmen to campus and get the new academic year off to a spirited start with the Pillars of the Arch Welcome Picnic Aug. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Legion Field.
The picnic is the university’s official welcome to a freshman class expected to total about 4,200, most of whom will have been on campus only a few days and will still be settling into residence halls and trying to figure out bus routes. It is also an opportunity to welcome new faculty and staff, said Rodney Bennett, vice president for student affairs.
Bennett encouraged returning students and faculty to attend the picnic to meet new students and faculty. Dress is casual and free Chick-fil-A sandwiches, pizza, cookies and soft drinks will be served.
The highlight of the event will be the Pillars of the Arch ceremony in which new students are asked to adopt a set of value statements that define ethical responsibilities of UGA students and faculty. Bennett and several student leaders will lead the ceremony, which was created by students in 2001.
New students will be given a UGA Arch pin attached to a card imprinted with the Pillars of the Arch creed, which was inspired by UGA’s famous Arch and is based on the principles represented by the Arch’s three columns–“wisdom,” “justice” and “moderation.” Students will be asked to put on the pin and read aloud the creed in unison.
The picnic will begin with a pep rally led by UGA cheerleaders and the Derby Pep Band. Student government president Katy Bowers will be emcee and will introduce UGA President Michael F. Adams, who will make brief remarks.
The program will end with the singing of the Alma Mater, led by Benjamin Dawkins, a master’s degree student in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and will be followed by a concert by the UGA Steel Drum Band.
UGA’s fall semester classes begin Aug. 16.